I thought I had convinced myself to not photograph the eclipse. Why? Just because everyone with even a camera phone was going to. About an hour before I realized that this was supposed to be the best eclipse for the next 10 years or so. My opportunistic side took over and steered me towards the mountains where I was sure I could find a saguaro or two to add to the scene. Now the problem became "how" to photograph the eclipse. I started by using a 10 stop filter. Turns out I needed it just to be able to compose and focus. The 10 stop filter combined with a pair of sunglasses made it bearable to look through the viewfinder. With the filter in place I worked to get something decent, but nothing but garbage was coming up on the LCD. Every picture was bland and my 10 stopper was turning it a lifeless green. So much for being "neutral". After a lot of frustration I finally tried one shot without the filter. I think I was shooting at 1/8000 of a second and f/40. Low and behold it looked ten times better than with the filter. I quickly made a couple small adjustments and I had what I wanted. I spied this group of saguaros further down the ridgeline and got in position. I again used the 10 stop filter to compose and focus. Then I removed it for the shot. Funny how usually I have to do the opposite with that thing. This turned out being my favorite shot of the evening. This is a single shot with very little photoshop. Cropped, added a little vibrance, and bandaided a few annoying specs.

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