Travelling to one of the most remote places on Earth to witness one of the world’s rarest events already sounds like a formidable challenge.
But Australian filmmaker and Canadian photographer Reuben Krabbe wanted to go one step further. Or perhaps five steps further.
The pair had a dream to shoot a once-in-a-lifetime photo of a skier plunging down a mountain in the Arctic Circle during an eclipse.
With both expenses and stress going through the roof, Bonello and Krabbe headed to the Arctic Circle. Even with all their preparation, there was only a 30-40 percent chance of the weather being clear on the day.
“Reuben and I had to be over a kilometre away from the skiers during the eclipse,” recalls Bonello.
“It was a really difficult shoot, not just because of the cold, but because we had 2 minutes 28 seconds to capture the total solar eclipse and we were looking into the sun trying to see the skiers. It was extremely stressful.”
Getting to see the eclipse was a stunning highlight for both men.
“‘There’s so much anticipation before it happens, that when the sun goes black and it’s inside out, it’s unbelievable,” says Krabbe.
“You understand the sun is always in the sky until it disappears and you lose your mind.”
The film resulting from their epic quest has been making waves all over the world, picking up the Best Snow Sports Award at the Banff Film Festival.
Aussies will get a chance to see the documentary during the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which travels around Australia in May and June. For tickets and more information, visit: http://banffaustralia.com.au
The moon passes between Earth and the sun every month, but a total solar eclipse happens only when the three celestial bodies are perfectly aligned.
A total eclipse begins as a barely perceptible nibble out of the sun. Over the next hour or so this blemish widens and eventually consumes the sun, turning day to night. This state, called totality, can last as long as seven and a half minutes, although it is usually half that.
During totality, the only visible part of the sun is its corona, the normally unseen outer atmosphere that shimmers in the darkness like a fiery ring.
When the sun begins to reappear, there is often a sparkling glow in one spot along the corona that creates what's known as the diamond ring effect. Within about an hour, daylight is restored.
Total eclipse occurs every one or two years, while total and partial eclipses together average about two and a half incidences per year. But because they are visible from such a small area on Earth each time, the chance of observing a total eclipse from any single spot is less than once in a lifetime.
Seeing a solar eclipse can be an unforgettable experience, but experts urge caution. Looking directly at the sun through a telescope or binoculars (or even the naked eye) can cause eye damage and even permanent blindness.