Yosiki-san and I started out at dawn on May 20, 2012 and drove to
several different locations within the Levelland, Brownfield,
Seminole, Denver City and Lamesa. After several hours of location
scouting, my friend and I finally narrowed it down to 2 locations that
we thought would be best to shoot the Annular Solar Eclipse.
The first location was on HWY 83 between Farm to Market Rd and Rd 125.
The road at this location curved northwest which pointed directly to
the sun location when it set. My vision for this location was the
fire-ring sun set at the end of the road with car headlight and tail
light trails that depicted two painted light strokes to the big fire
ring. However, I had to give up this location due to strong wind that
prevented me from setting up my camera on top of our rental car. The
ground location was also not high enough for us to capture the full
curve of the road. The straight electric poles along the side of the
road were not appealing to us either. We were disappointed that the
first location wasn't working out as we initially planned.
Yoshiki-san and I decided to check out the second location in Lamesa.
In Lamesa, we chose the shooting location in the middle of an oil
field with oil pumps in the distance. We thought that this would be
ideal for our theme because Texas is known for oil production and oil
is energy which falls into our theme of high energy fire-ring sunset
that we wanted to capture.
At around 1 p.m., we made a final decision that we would shoot at
Lamesa. As if the exhaustion from location scouting most of the day
wasn't enough, our hope was quickly doused by the thick dark cloud
covered the sky in Lamesa downtown while Yoshiki-san and I were having
lunch. The thought that we had to return home to Seattle without any
worthy photos took over us. However, the feeling of extreme
disappointment quickly left us as the cloud began to slowly dissipate
at around 4 p.m. We quickly left downtown Lamesa and headed to the
oil field. My friend and I were both praying that the condition would
continue to improve at the sun began to set over the horizon. During
the 30-minute sunset, we were able to capture the partial ring of
sunset fire as there were still some clouds over the horizon.
Our trip would not have been successful without the invaluable
research and planning of my photographer friend Yoshiki-san. Google
Map and TPE Apps were also very helpful in helping us navigating to
different locations. Big thanks to the oil tanker driver who stopped
his truck in the middle of the road while patiently waiting for me a
capture the precious moment at sunset. Also, thanks to the loud
rattle snake that decided to go his separate way when he encountered
me on the oil field in the middle of the shoot. At the end of the
day, I've learned that it takes a lot of dedication, patient and "a
little bit of luck" to capture the most beautiful photographs. I hope
you enjoy the photograph as much as I did shooting it.