The total solar eclipse of August 2017 was a huge thing, and over 200 million of Americans watched it. A lot of them were trying to take pictures, but in order to shoot the best one you had to be in the right place, at the right time. And none of them was better than over 200 million Americans watched the total solar eclipse in August 2017, but no one had a better view than photographer Jon Carmichael. He spent years plotting how he could capture the total eclipse in a unique way, eventually combining his passions for photography, astronomy, and flight.
We all know that moments like that solar eclipses don’t occur often, and that moments is one of the most photographed in the history. As a professional photographer, they feel a lot of pressure trying to make sure that they got the best shot. Carmichael prepared and made plans for this moments long ago, and he came up with the idea of the perfect place to document this moment. By studying the eclipse path carefully, the photographer realized that Southwest Airlines runs a flight from Portland to St. Louis that would put him in the perfect position to view the event.
Without thinking twice, this was his once-in-a-lifetime chance, and he had to take it. The photographer purchased a ticket and hoped that he’d get a window seat. Since Southwest doesn’t have pre-assigned seats, he’d even prepared himself to bribe someone to give up their window position if necessary. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. 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. Carmichael was ready for his big moment where 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.”