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My Great American Eclipse Experience Wasn't So Great

I planned for MONTHS for the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse. I had all the equipment I needed, I tested it, I prepped, I was determined to create an engaging livestream and have a great experience.

Best laid plans, am I right?

Just after midnight with about 12 hours to go, my livestream cohost bailed. There went half my content. I had made several filler videos to account for taking breaks, but that wasn't nearly enough to fill all the time. I ended up rambling like an idiot.

Also, I knew central Texas was expecting clouds and I planned for it, but it still sucked that for the majority of the livestream I couldn't show a live view of the eclipse. I was able to fill in with livestreams from and the stream from the Planetary Society's event in Fredricksburg, about 40 miles away. At least the clouds parted long enough for them to see totality; the clouds obscured the sun in Liberty Hill until about 2 minutes after totality.

I did try to take pictures when the clouds parted. I estimate I took about 500 pictures (I just kept snapping away). Or at least I thought I did. During cleanup, I found I didn't have an SD card in my camera, so I got zero pictures.

So basically I put in tons of work prepping and still managed to screw everything up. More lessons learned, and some silver linings. I do have recordings of not only my livestream, but also my equipment test sessions. Testing the day before, I got a great shot of Jupiter hanging out with the moon. I also learned more about planning for livestreams and how to deal with unforeseen events, which will come in handy when I start livestreaming my stargazing sessions this summer.

I think it's time to take a break from writing and focus on learning from what I did and didn't do to plan for the eclipse and apply that to the March 29, 2025 total lunar eclipse.

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That's rough! I live in Houston but ended up in New England for the eclipse. I got video, and photos of the partial phases, but I forgot to take the filter off my photo rig during totality. So that was a bust for me.

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