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Total Solar Eclipse 2024
The Photographer’s Soul

Everything is temporary.

Jane Gaboury
Director of Publications (Retired)
Professional Photographers of America


I have to admit ambivalence or maybe laziness when it came to planning for the total eclipse on April 8, 2024. The talking heads in media were prognosticating a catastrophe as millions of Americans traveled to the path of totality creating massive traffic jams and a dire shortage of bathrooms and porta-potties.

St. Charles is about 130 miles north of the center line running through Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Carbondale Illinois. for maximum totality beginning at 1:50 p.m. or so with totality lasting for slightly over 4 minutes. I printed off a map of that area, drew a line through those two communities and struck out south from of St. Louis on Illinois Route 3 with the intention of intersecting the line.

Yes, the traffic was heavy, but I found my fellow travelers were mostly courteous and patient. We worked our way south on two lane roads and got within 12 miles of my goal when time ran out. We pulled into a parking area in the Shawnee National Forest full of like minded curious humans to witness this once in a lifetime event.

I had about 10 minutes to spare until totality to set up my tripod and camera. These are the last two images. They are exactly 9-seconds apart. Was it worth the trouble? Absolutely! My thought after witnessing totality? Spectacular!

Total Solar Eclipse 2024

Work That Matters

Last week Patty and I had the pleasure of making headshot portraits and team photos for a group of Thrivent Financial Advisors. Anytime you get a group of colleagues and friends together for photos, chaos is to be expected. I’ve included it in the slide show along with the resulting images. It’s work that matters. I think you’ll enjoy the video.

If you are looking for corporate headshots, here is a link to more information.

Final Thought

The quote, “Everything is Temporary”, is the sub title to Jane’s final editorial for the PPA Magazine April 2024 titled “Knowing When to Stop”. Here are a couple more lines…

Although the American Psychological Association defines midlife as spanning  36 – 64, I don’t know a single person who’s lived to 128. Having acknowledged the reality that we’re closer to the end than the middle, my husband and I have undertaken Operation Deep Clean – combing the nooks and crannies of our home to declutter and thereby alleviate the inevitable work that will fall to our children someday….

Projects and tasks have a natural ending. But for more boundless enterprises – relationships, hobbies, work – I’ve come to embrace this idea of completeness. It’s not giving up, it’s being satisfied….

To the list of relationships, hobbies and work, I’ll add “life” as the most boundless enterprise of all. I’ll be 70 in June, and like Jane so eloquently put it, I’m closer to the end than the middle. Similarly, I’m cleaning out stuff which gets me really focused on the question of “what matters”, because what I’m really talking about is legacy.

Things that Matter

In the end, I think my library, the books that have mentored, guided and entertained me matter.
In the end all the printed photos in portfolios, framed or otherwise matter.
In the end, the blogs I’ve written, the website I’ve labored to build, and the unfinished journals might tell a story.
In the end, I hope to leave love and good will for my family, friends and community.

In the end I hope to embrace the totality of my journey with my final thought being, “spectacular!”.

Thanks for stopping by today! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.


Ps. I don’t have plans to depart anytime soon. But I do embrace the truth that I’m not on that planning committee. None of us are.