Colin Smith of PhotoshopCAFE teamed up with Adobe Principle Creative Director, Russell Brown, and the Canon USA team to photograph the solar eclipse in Casper, Wyoming. In the nearly 16-minute behind-the-scenes video, we get to see some of the equipment Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute was using to capture the eclipse with the rest of the Canon USA team.
Smith met up with Brown, Jeremy Thiel, and Chris Knight in Casper, Wyoming two days before the eclipse to scout and photograph some beautiful locations and take some aerial imaging while on the trip. I have to say that seeing an aerial video over Fremont Canyon is amazing to see and shows how Wyoming has some of the most beautiful landscape in the United States. You can hear the group discussing whether they should stay at the canyon and only have 80 seconds of totality or to go to a "boring" location and have more than a whole minute more to photograph the eclipse.
The three take some time in downtown Casper to check out "the madness" in the area where totality will be passing through the following day. They get some last minute weather predictions from a meteorologist at the local CBS affiliate saying to be positive about the cloud cover for the following day. The video shows just how momentous this eclipse was, bringing large amounts of people from within and outside the United States to Casper, with a map that shows where people had traveled from.
The full 16-person group finally arrived at their ranch shooting location and had everything from some of the largest telephoto lenses that Canon offers to the latest DSLR and cinema camera bodies. Each of these was trained on the sun capturing the solar eclipse while many were also attached to sophisticated equatorial tracking mounts to keep the sun within the center of the frame. Smith also goes through using a CamRanger for photographing the eclipse so he can more easily confirm focus and the sun's placement in the frame.
The rest of the video is all about the experience of photographing totality, how the lighting changes so quickly, and how the experience can be life changing. I got to experience some of this as I photographed my first eclipse just west of their group in the Bridger-Teton area at the same time. Take a few minutes and watch the video and experience some of what Smith and the group witnessed before, during, and after the solar eclipse.