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This documentary photo book captures the once-in-a-lifetime drama, humor and excitement on the day the sun disappeared over America.
This documentary photo book captures the once-in-a-lifetime drama, humor and excitement on the day the sun disappeared over America.
222 backers pledged $14,343 to help bring this project to life.

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UPDATE 9/14: We've announced the winners of our contest. You can read all about it on the blog. Here are the top three winners, with more finalists at the bottom of the page.

Overall winner © Oleg Zinkovetsky in Madisonville, Tennessee.
Overall winner © Oleg Zinkovetsky in Madisonville, Tennessee.

 

Best Documentary (tie) © Mike Wardynski in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon.
Best Documentary (tie) © Mike Wardynski in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon.

 

Best Documentary (tie) © Robert Cannon in Washington, D.C.
Best Documentary (tie) © Robert Cannon in Washington, D.C.

 

UPDATE 9/12: More exciting news: We've added this beautiful in-camera double exposure of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina by FStoppers.com co-founder Patrick Hall. You can read more about how Patrick created the image, here.

In-camera double exposure © Patrick Hall
In-camera double exposure © Patrick Hall

 

New Stretch Goal and Reward announced

If we reach our new stretch goal of $15,000, we'll be sending everyone who has pledged $20 or more a commemorative sticker based on Andrew Studer's eclipse image.

UPDATE 8/25: We're thrilled to announce that Andrew Studer's stunning image of a rock climber framed by the solar eclipse is now part of our project and will be featured in our book, Chasing the Great American Eclipse: Images and Essays from Totality

Andrew is also signing and numbering a limited number of 16 x 24 prints of his photo that will be included as rewards in our $500 reward tier, "The Total Eclipse Package." (The image won't be included in any of the other reward tiers). 

If there is any image that will be looked back upon years from now when people think of the Great American Eclipse of 2017, it may very well be Andrew's. You can read more about how he and his team created this image on FStoppers: http://bit.ly/2wGiKNI

© Andrew Studer in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon.
© Andrew Studer in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon.

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© 2017 Dimitrios Manis in Madras, Oregon.
© 2017 Dimitrios Manis in Madras, Oregon.

Our book will document the spectrum of emotions, the crowds, the traffic jams, the street corner preachers, the revelers and the moments that will remind us what it was like the day the sun disappeared over America.

Those who saw the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 will tell you there's absolutely nothing that compares to watching the sun flicker to darkness in the middle of the day.

As the sky slowly went dark, the temperature dropped and people all around were gasping in amazement, screaming in delight or even becoming overcome with emotion. Psychologists say that watching a total solar eclipse can have an unsettling effect on people because, frankly, it's hard for our minds to cope with what is happening.

Chasing the Great American Eclipse captures the  spectacle of this total solar eclipse -- a once in a 100-year coast-to-coast event that was witnessed by tens of millions of people in the 70-mile wide swath of "totality."

If you are a fan of documentary and street photography, we think you'll be enthralled by this study in human nature and what it reveals about our culture. The parties and festivals, the doomsayers, the curious and the entrepreneurial spirit that these types of hyped events bring out will be on display across America.

The book will be a mix of photojournalism, street photography, visual storytelling and stunning images of the eclipse over various landscapes and cityscapes. It's sure to be a conversation starter on your coffee table and will be an interesting piece of history that you'll be able to look back upon in the years to come. 

Phases of the eclipse © Joseph Gruber in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Phases of the eclipse © Joseph Gruber in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Projects of Earth

We're also proud to be part of Kickstarter's "Projects of Earth" campaign, which honors the 40th anniversary of the Voyager spacecraft, which carried the "Golden Record" -- a collection of images, sounds and greetings that created a snapshot of life on earth. 

The Projects of Earth are things that might be placed on that Golden Record today as a record of our humanity in the 21st Century. We'd like to think that if an alien culture were to pick up a copy of Chasing the Great American Eclipse, they might learn a thing or two about man's fascination with the heavens.

© 2017 Joe Newman in Jefferson City, Missouri
© 2017 Joe Newman in Jefferson City, Missouri

How We Are Doing It

Our team of photographers was embedded in various locations on the day of the eclipse, including Oregon, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. 

The members of our team are all experienced photographers and were all contributors to our most recent photo book, UnPresidented, which documented the protests and celebration at the Trump inauguration and was successfully funded on Kickstarter.

We are also running a nationwide contest for people to submit photos for consideration. You can find the contest here.

Our jury for the contest includes veteran, award-winning photojournalists Carl Juste of the Miami Herald and André Chung, formerly of the Baltimore Sun and Jarob Ortiz, a National Park Service photographer who was once referred to as the "next Ansel Adams," Heather Goss, an editor at Air & Space magazine and Sarah Gordon, who teaches the history of photography at American University and who has curated photography exhibits at the National Gallery of Art. 

Money raised during the Kickstarter campaign will finance design and printing of the book and help defray travel expenses incurred in journeying to various locations in the path of totality.

The Editors

Shamila Chaudhary is an avid photographer whose work has been featured in The Washington Post as well as local media outlets and galleries in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Currently, she is a Senior South Asia Fellow at the Washington D.C.-based New America think tank and also a Senior Advisor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies where she oversees special projects, communications, marketing, institutional planning, and strategic initiatives. Her work is regularly cited and published in Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, the New York Times and she has frequently appeared on CNN, BBC News America, NPR, and Fox News, CCTV, and other outlets. She also has twelve years of experience working in the U.S. government, most recently at the White House as Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council from 2010-2011. She was the co-editor of the documentary photography book “UnPresidented: The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump and the People’s Response.” 

________________________________

Joe Newman is an award-winning journalist and photographer. He blogs about photography on the Huffington Post and is the editor of the photography website, Focus on the Story. His work has exhibited at several shows in DC over the past couple years, and he is currently in the Leica Store DC's "Dusk to Dawn" exhibit. He leads photography workshops in Cuba and was the co-editor and publisher of "UnPresidented: The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump and the People's Response." Before starting Cosmic Smudge Media in 2016, he directed media strategy at the Project On Government Oversight. Prior to moving to DC, he spent many years as a newspaper reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times and Palm Beach Post. At the Sentinel, he directed news coverage at the paper's largest bureau before joining the paper's Enterprise Reporting Team, where he won awards for his coverage of Florida's shifting demographics, urban design (or lack thereof), and the state's threatened environment.

© 2017 Dwight Jefferson in Nashville, Tennessee.
© 2017 Dwight Jefferson in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Book

The hardcover book will include both black and white and full color images. The paper quality will be top notch. The number of pages and number of images in the book are TBD, but we expect the book to have somewhere between 90 and 130 pages.The physical dimensions of the book are also TBD but the longest side will be at least 10 inches long. 

Honorable Mention @ Amandala Photography / Amanda Senior in Big Summit Prairie, Oregon.
Honorable Mention @ Amandala Photography / Amanda Senior in Big Summit Prairie, Oregon.

 

Honorable Mention @ Amandala Photography / Amanda Senior in Big Summit Prairie, Oregon.
Honorable Mention @ Amandala Photography / Amanda Senior in Big Summit Prairie, Oregon.

 

Risks and challenges

This is the second documentary photo book project we are doing on Kickstarter. The first book, UnPresidented, taught us a lot about how to manage and fulfill a Kickstarter and how to take a book from concept to reality.

This time around, we know what to expect -- from how much it costs to print a hardcover book to how much it costs to mail a book overseas (a lot more than we were expecting).

The biggest variable will be the quality of images we get from the contest submissions. But based on previous contests and our plans to advertise the contest heavily, we're pretty confident it will attract some high-quality images.

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    Get the Book and Add UnPresidented

    This is a chance to get signed copies of the Eclipse book AND one of the few remaining, first edition copies of UnPresidented, our photo book documenting the Trump inauguration protests and Women's March. UnPresidented is out of print and is an instant collector's item. Backers will also receive an acknowledgement in the back of Chasing the Great American Eclipse.

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Funding period

- (29 days)