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Travel Photography: Annular Eclipse, San Diego and Three U.S. National Parks

I like to experience solar eclipses. And photograph them. I knew for a long time there was one visible on May 20, 2012 in the Western USA.  Much easier to get to than the South Pacific, where the last one was.

It would be annular, meaning the sun is not completely covered by the moon. This is a completely different experience from a total solar eclipse.  It actually doesn’t get very dark, unlike a total eclipse. But fascinating things do happen.

For those who have never experienced a total solar eclipse, some say it cannot be described. I say it can be described, but not understood. It gets as dark as deep twilight and stars and planets become visible. At midday! But the most interesting thing is the sun’s wispy corona surrounding the black hole of the moon.

Never mind, you just have to see it. There’s another one in the South Pacific on Nov 13 2012 and Aug 21 2017 in the USA! But this is not what we had on May 20.

Anyway, my son lives in San Diego. And he doesn’t mind if I visit once every year or two. So combining the visit and the eclipse made sense. He loves to go out in the Desert and camp, and to visit natural wonders. Me too. So we took a road trip from San Diego to southern Utah and northern Arizona. This would be the best place to see the eclipse, and also a perfect chance to see 3 of the best National Parks.  Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park (north rim). We spent several excellent days camping there. Of course I took hundreds of pictures, and some are good enough to share. For some of my pictures of the national parks, see the new gallery, National Parks of the West Gallery. There are other pictures from this trip in the Aviation, Astronomy, Aerial, World Destinations, Wide Panoramas, Natural World, and Infrared Showcase galleries. I only have one image of the eclipse, made by having my camera automatically take a picture every 3 minutes as the sun crossed the sky and set.

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