I almost never visit the My Modern Met site, but it must be good, as I often get suggestions from readers about articles there. I think I found this one on my own, but probably through Facebook. It’s the story of how an enterprising young photographer, Jon Carmichael, took a spectacular photo of a solar eclipse. Click on the screenshot to see the story.
The date was August 21, 2017, and you may remember that there was a total eclipse that day visible in much of the U.S. (I saw part of it, though it was overcast in Chicago). Carmichael decided to try to photograph the eclipse from in the air—on a commercial flight.
He chose a Southwest flight from Portland, Oregon to St. Louis, Missouri, which would put him in the path of the eclipse when he was in the air. But he neglected to buy the early boarding option, which was only $15, so he wasn’t sure that, given Southwest’s seating policy, he’d get a window seat on the proper side of the plane to take his picture. The site above gives the rest of the story, which features Southwest’s trademark hospitality:
When he explained his mission to the Southwest flight crew, not only did they ensure he’d get a great seat, but the captain actually went outside the plane to clean the window for a crystal clear shot. During the flight itself, the pilots circled a few times to provide all passengers with a spectacular view.
When it came time for the moment of totality, Carmichael was ready. He shot over 1,200 photos in two minutes and managed to perfectly capture the total eclipse over Snake River. It’s an image that Inc.calls “history’s most amazing photo.” A 10-foot laser-crystal c-print of 108 now hangs in Twitter’s New York offices.
The photo below, the one under discussion, is apparently a mosaic of his images that took a year to create. You can buy a print on Carmichael’s website. It truly is a stunning photo, though it’s not really one picture but a montage.
Here’s a video of the episode made by Southwest Airlines, which even shows the pilot cleaning the window.
Carmichael and the pilots: