I really lucked out in making this image, as is described below.
I had spent a few days working north of Fort McMurray, with the expectation of being back in Edmonton near the beginning of the transit. I brought my gear with me in the field to be sure I had it, should I get stuck staying in camp for an extra day.
By Monday evening, it was obvious that things where not shaping up well weather-wise: the weatheroffice.gc.ca cloud forecast indicated that most of the province would be covered with clouds and that I would need to travel an hour or more south of Edmonton to find clear skies.
As it turned out, we spent longer at a site on Tuesday morning than intended (the morning of the transit). New ETA in Edmonton: 7:30 PM (i.e., about 70% of the way through the portion of the transit that would be visible from Edmonton before the sun set). This would not leave much time for me to drive to Camrose – the closest location that the Clear Sky Charts indicated would be, well… clear.
A couple of hours into our drive home, I knew I would not make it to Camrose, or even Wetaskiwin, before the sun set. Then, I noticed something I had not seen all day: a shadow (to be specific, it was the shadow of a llama in a ranchers field beside the highway… ok, ok… it might have been an alpaca). We drove for another 5 minutes as the sun slowly poked its head fully out of the clouds. I hesitated stopping for a moment, as my colleague Tim still had a long drive ahead of him to Banff after letting me off in Edmonton. But then I came to my senses and pulled off the highway into a small driveway so we could do some observing and take some photos (apologies to Tim and Julien – who’s ETA in Banff, when I last saw them, was about 2 AM).
Tim and I spent about 25 minutes looking through my solar viewer (shade 14 welding glass in a piece of cardboard) and taking photos. I helped Tim tape my solar filter onto the front of his camera lens so he could get a couple of shots too. Then the clouds rolled back in – this time for good.
To sum up: I saw only about half an hour of sunlight all day, and it conveniently happened to occur both during the transit, and more importantly, while I was in control of the vehicle :)