August Photo Diary 2017

After spending May, June, and July having awesome adventures in Asia, coming back home to America was a bit… well, I don’t want to say a let-down, because I missed my family and friends, but I definitely had some post-travel blues.

But! August was still a fun and exciting month, and I took my camera with me everywhere, as is par for the course. I got to see my niece and nephews quite a bit, which was great  because I missed them so much while I was gone and I totally got some bonus-points for bringing them back souvenirs. I’m the cool aunt, guys!

We had a lot of fun showing off on the trampoline and checking out an aquarium at the mall.

For the past like, four years, my best friend Kaiden has been an assistant at a summer art camp. Every summer I express interest in also being an assistant, and this year I finally took the plunge! Working with kids every weekday for three weeks was exhausting but super rewarding, and I already miss it.

I took some pictures at the camp, excluding the children of course because privacy and all of that, and I really like the photos. Because they are absent of children but have elements in them that show children were once clearly there is kind of eerie. And I love eerie.

One of the many delightful things about working at a children’s art camp was not only seeing kids be creative, silly, and even adorable, but working with my best friend was AWESOME. The camp was situated in a large park with winding nature trails, so sometimes after the kids went home, Kaiden and I would walk around and enjoy the wildlife. I already miss it.

The first part of August was spent working with creative kids, but once the end of August rolled ’round, I went on yet another trip. This time I went to St. Louis to meet up with the usual suspects to camp and see the Solar Eclipse. We met up and spent the night in a mini-van in a Walmart parking lot (as you do,) and explored the city of St. Louis for an afternoon.

After we explored St. Louis, we took our van and made the trip to Carbondale, where we would see the Eclipse in Totality. Totality is the area where the moon completely covers the sun and therefore safe to take your viewing glasses off for that brief window of time. We ended up at Giant City State Park, where we camped out on a blanket and took awful amazing selfies while we waited for the Big Event.

After waiting a few hours, it started happening. I took photos on my phone and with my 35mm film camera, but of course none of them did it justice. I also had to be careful, because I couldn’t very well look into my view finder, as it would damage my retinas. So, here, have some really bad photos taken by me, a professional photographer with a master’s degree and everything.

Also, the snapchat filters were LIT.

I didn’t get any good photos of the event, because honestly I was so under prepared for this trip after spending so many months abroad. There will be another one in 2023 that I will definitely be ready for, and will have decent equipment and training/education/research in astro-photography.

The bright side was that I was able to focus on what was happening. I’ve read many times that when we take pictures of an event, we are more likely to forget the genuine memory of it, and instead we have memories of a photograph. This kind of phenomenon is once-removed from the event itself, and man, for something like a solar eclipse in Totality? I wanted to remember it.

And it was seriously one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Just thinking about it makes me emotional, because there we were, surrounded by strangers, watching the moon block the sun, which are both hundreds-of-thousands and millions-of miles away from us, cheering when we were able to take our glasses off and the world went dark and quiet. It was gorgeous and rare and I’ll always hold it dear in my heart.

Did you get to see the solar eclipse? What was it like for you?

Happy Shooting!