The story behind viral, iconic Smith Rock total solar eclipse photo

17 Jul 2019

A photographer traveling cross-country in a van captured what may be the most iconic and viral image of 2017's total solar eclipse in a carefully choreographed effort that left no margin for error.

Ted Hesser, a 31-year-old freelance photographer from the Bay Area, scouted locations at Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon with his girlfriend, Martina Tibell, for a week. The two rock climbing enthusiasts spent days trying different climbing routes alongside other adventure photographers who all descended on the park looking for the perfect angle during totality.

Video courtesy: Columbia Sportswear

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