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Eclipse 2024 in Montreal

I was unbelievably lucky to catch the total eclipse of April 8, 2024 in Montreal


Duleepa Wijayawardhana

April 18, 2024

Nothing really prepares you for a Total Solar Eclipse. I've been in any number of partial eclipses before, some really partial to others which were almost 90%. I even remember looking at one through old film negative when I was a child (I am sure that's actually not good for your eyes...). I had, of course, seen video, photos and read descriptions, but let me tell you: I was expecting to be underwhelmed and came away overwhelmed.

It's not even something I can describe. I think there is a certain amount of mass hysteria attached to it. You are after all experiencing an event with a large portion of humanity. But it's more than that, there's a primal feeling to it: there's an onrush of darkness, a weird wind, a drop in temperature and an unnatural darkness that envelopes you. I can definitely understand our ancestors' fascination and even religious fervour for these kind of events. It's definitely not a feeling that leaves you once you've experienced it.

Not only was I lucky to be visiting Montreal on a completely unplanned trip, but my good friend Niall Brown had ordered a plethora of viewing materials months in advance. Certainly, without Niall, I would have been completely unprepared to photograph the eclipse. We made a cardboard solar filter for my Nikon that remarkably worked like a charm. I'm sure a proper filter and an even bigger zoom lens would have made the photos that much more amazing, but this was good enough for me!

The Total Eclipse of April 8, 2024 will likely go down in history as the most photographed total eclipse the world has ever known (until the one over Iceland and Spain in 2026 of course), but if you will allow me, here are my 12 photos of that event to add to the billions already captured.

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