This week’s complete photo voltaic eclipse over the continental U.S. generated a barrage of photographs of various ranges of technical and inventive high quality. However the very best photographs shared a standard function: specifically, meticulous planning sprinkled with a bit luck.

Such was the case for a small group comprised of photographers Andrew Studer (@andrew.studer)and Ted Hesser (@tedhesser) with climbers Tommy Smith, and Martina Tibell who deliberate and executed a sequence of unbelievable photographs in Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park.

Photograph by Ted Hesser

Andrew Studer was employed by Columbia Sportswear and Ted Hesser was employed by Purpose Zero to cowl the eclipse, they usually ended up collaborating to create a number of the most iconic photographs of the eclipse regardless of by no means having met earlier than.

A number of days previous to the eclipse, Hesser says he and Tibell “spent Four-5 days climbing totally different routes within the park looking for the best location to get a vantage level of the eclipse the place I might have a climber within the shot.”

They settled on the long-lasting Monkey Face, which is house to a number of the most tough mountain climbing on the earth.

“There have been quite a lot of different photographers attempting to get comparable pictures,” says Hesser. “However it type of turned obvious that nobody was doing something close to the highest.” Photographer Chris Burkhard captured the same picture of a slackliner, however his place wasn’t as optimum.

Greatest view in the home… it took Four days of planning and exhausting work to seize this shot. My girlfriend @martinatib and good buddy @thistommysmith climbed the route twice, in scorching warmth, to nail the positioning. However we nailed it!

A put up shared by Ted Hesser (@tedhesser) on

Studer says they used the PhotoPills app to get a tough concept of the solar’s positioning. However Hesser factors out that telephone apps have limitations. “iPhone apps aren’t correct sufficient for these items. I believe I acquired just a bit fortunate.” The group determined to maneuver off the projected axis of the solar, previous a line of bushes that was away from the throng of photographers.

A follow ascent the day earlier than the eclipse took Smith and Tibell almost 7 hours to finish because of quite a lot of climbers on the route. On the day of the eclipse, the group set out at three:30am, solely to search out that the park wasn’t open till 5:30am. “We simply needed to wait, then we booked it as soon as the park opened,” says Hesser. Smith and Tibell solely took 2 hours to scale the face on the day of the eclipse.

Witnessing the occasion was mind-blowing for the photographers despite the fact that totality barely lasted for a minute and a half. “It was so surreal as a result of there have been these numerous components that might have gone in opposition to the completion of the photograph,” says Studer. “There have been quite a lot of wildfires, and quite a lot of climbers out that day. So we weren’t certain whether or not we had been going to get it.”

Photograph by Andrew Studer

“I used to be actually nervous…There was quite a lot of doubt creeping in my thoughts,” says Hesser. “The eclipse was like an alien expertise. A whole bunch of individuals had been howling. Crickets got here out…We had been full of adrenaline. We had been attempting to get the shot, and the shot [was] proper there!”

Unsurprisingly, the photographs had detractors who thought it was a pretend, however a video taken on the time of seize by Michael Shainblum serves as proof of the occasion. Hesser brushes off the accusations of fakery saying, “For each 100 optimistic feedback, there’s just one” claiming it’s pretend.

Here’s a realtime video taken proper earlier than totality. I cannot let you know how surreal it was to expertise this second. You possibly can hear @tedhesser on the walkie talkie, coordinating with the climber. To get the best place for his shot. In addition to tons of digital camera clicks and folks cheering from on high of the rocks. #solareclipse2017 #solareclipse

A put up shared by Michael Shainblum (@shainblumphotography) on

It is a wrap! @thistommysmith and I making our method down monkey face after a profitable eclipse photograph shoot with my extremely gifted boyfriend @tedhesser . What an incredible expertise! Bonus level – we acquired a primary hand view of the superior slack line that @chrisburkard and group arrange. Photograph @cwalkkin

A put up shared by Martina Tibell (@martinatib) on

The pictures have rightfully gone viral. “There have been quite a lot of actually neat takes of the eclipse,” says Studer, “however I’m grateful that what we got down to do turned attainable. It labored.”


Ted Hesser used a Nikon D800 with AF-S 80-400mm f/Four.5-5.6G ED VR lens. Andrew Studer used a Canon EOS-1DX Mark II and 150-600mm f/5-6.three DG OS HSM lens. 

Replace: An earlier model incorrectly recognized the videographer as “Shain Blum.” His title is Michael Shainblum.