Footprints of the Sun – 2017 Solar Eclipse at Smith Rock State Park


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The 2017 Solar Eclipse was quite the event to experience! We traveled to central Oregon since the weather was forecast to be clear. We spent a few days hiking around Smith Rock State Park to determine where we wanted to shoot this unique event. I was able to capture an awesome sunset picture the night before the eclipse occurred.

The majesty of Smith Rock State Park is unique, even for the high desert of Oregon. The park covers over 650 acres and hovers around 3000 feet in elevation. Towers of volcanic ash rise like the spires of a cathedral out of the sage and dust of the high desert. An epic location for an epic eclipse!

Wanting to capture the different phases of the eclipse as part of a composition, I needed to get somewhere that gave me a clear view of the sky. I chose Asterisk Pass since it gave a great view of the bend in the river along with a good view of the sky. The other plus we ended up with is that almost everyone went up top for the eclipse. We had this area almost completely to ourselves. It’s a nice walk from the parking lot to this section of Smith Rock State Park with not nearly the elevation gain you get elsewhere.

I shot a panorama of the park during different phases of the eclipse so I could see what lighting was the best. Knowing that the sun would be hardly visible in a 16mm wide angle panoramic, I also shot closeups of the sun with a telephoto so I would have high resolution pictures to work with. What an awesome experience and I’m so glad to have been able to capture it!