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Total Solar Eclipse Being Watched By People in Carbondale, Illinois

The total solar eclipse of 2017 was watched by millions of people all along the eclipse’s path. To witness this incredible natural event, my brothers and I traveled to Carbondale, Illinois. This city is where the eclipse lasted for the longest amount of time. We spent the day on the Southern Illinois University campus because they had a lot going on there. It was such a fun festival-like atmosphere.

I brought my medium format Hasselblad 500c/m film camera with me to document this day. Initially, I had a hard time figuring out what to photograph. I wanted more than just people standing around at a festival. I was looking for a unique angle to take on this whole event. Then it dawned on me, it would great to take portraits of various people looking up at the sky watching the eclipse happen.

Total Solar Eclipse Portraits

This small series of portraits are of people watching the eclipse as it was actually happening in Carbondale, Illinois. During the eclipse, I literally ran around looking for interesting people to photograph. When I encountered someone or a group of people that caught my eye, I asked them to put on their paper eclipse glasses and look up at the eclipse.

A group of farmers watching the total solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois by Matthew T Rader
A group of farmers watching the total solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois by Matthew T Rader

One of the things I loved about going to see the total solar eclipse was the diversity of people there. It was a great moment where people of various races, genders, religions, income, and political beliefs were all able to be together in awe. For those short 2 and half minutes, we were all just humans enjoying an amazing spectacle of nature.

An analog portrait of two women watching the solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of two women watching the solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of man watching the solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
A portrait of man watching the solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
Total solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois by Matthew T Rader
Total solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois by Matthew T Rader
Brothers watching the total solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
Brothers watching the total solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of a woman watching the solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of a woman watching the solar eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of two brothers watching the event in Carbondale, Illinois
A portrait of two brothers watching the event in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of a woman watching the event at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of a woman watching the event at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
An analog portrait of man watching the eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois
A film portrait of man watching the eclipse at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois

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