Desaturation of Light

August 26, 2017

The day of the eclipse, I stood in a bright meadow of wildflowers with members of my family. It was reported that we should expect unanticipated reactions. Certainly for me such was my fear of vision loss, even with the protection of eclipse shades over the eyes, that I decided to look at the meadow and watch the transitions, obliquely, only to face the sun during the brief moments of complete totality of the eclipse. Facing the meadow, not only did the scene in front of me become devoid of light, but the saturation of color normally present in everyday experience changed the meadow to a drab greyness. This was for me a more powerful moment than seeing the moon obscure the sun, this desaturation of color, that brought with it a passing feeling of what I can only describe as desolation, unlike the usual transition from daylight to twilight. I stopped taking photos to look at this effect that passed soon after. These photos do not really capture that moment. The warmth of days' end and transition to night in ordinary experience seems quite different.

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