Indeed, a variety of lesser goals have been shelved for the time being, but this one... its not something you elect to pursue later. You either shoot it when the opportunity presents itself, or you don't. Its the same reasoning that convinced me to go for it in the first place. This is here, and this is now. If you don't feel like it. If you don't have the funds. If your resources and process are strained to the breaking point. In the end, if you don't do it, you don't get a do-over when things come together. They MUST come together when the cosmos says so, or the opportunity to make a statement is gone, period.
So we're going anyway. Its not the same team, but the shot is the same. And the results, for better or worse, will be the same.
An itinerary of what we're doing next weekend has been drafted -- a long day of location scouting on Saturday; final supplies and tweaks adjusted on Sunday. A last minute scramble for a local model and a bevy of backups because prudence demands it, just like a prime location and a slew of backups.
My recurring anxiety is the premise of showing up to a pre-selected spot of suitably desolate landscape only to find a flash mob of eclipse groupies wandering through my field of view. There is 600 feet of scrub brush between the end of my lens and the model and all it takes is for one groupie's head to block my view, let alone hundreds of them.
Weather too weighs in the back of my mind as a factor out of my control. Wouldn't it be lovely if it rained or was overcast during the 4 minutes I have to shoot.
For these issues, I am at the mercy of good fortune. For all others, I have my logistical background as a former engineer to lean on for all manner of contingency planning.
Among the Critical Tools -- the Lowly Paperclip
The idea to capture a shot of grandeur is to put the model inside the eclipse. Anyone who's ever tried to shoot someone in context to the moon or a sunset knows how small these titan celestial bodies are in relation to a person. Just a small glowing bubble the size of a balloon, at best. But for a truly eye-popping shot, it needs to be HUGE. The trick is not to make the moon bigger, because you can't. Instead, you push the person further away -- much further. 600 feet further in fact. And without a tape measure it can be kind of hard to know how far that is.
Except if you use a standard office paperclip. It turns out the moon fits in the end of a paperclip held at arm's length. That's how big the eclipse will be. And that's how big a person needs to be to be the size of the moon. So you hold the paperclip out and keep walking away until they're just that small. A good 600 feet as it turns out.
And once you do that, you understand why such a gargantuan lens is needed to get anything more than a tiny spec in the distance.
Only a week away at this point. Woohoo.