But while I was afforded a much longer look at totality than most, time certainly flew by, which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise according to one eclipse expert.

Time is absolute.

It must shocking to long-time readers of this column to encounter a statement so Einstein-like in this space. But let me assure you that what follows is not a science lesson. Still, the foundation on which today's prose is anchored is at least a bit science based.

Go to your favorite science expert and suggest that time is absolute. Chances are good you will receive a pat on the head because whatever else may change, time moves forward at the same constant rate. However, the perception of time's passage can vary greatly.

Consider an evening spent watching your grandkids. For some, the passage of time between when their parents depart and return can seem almost instantaneous. For other pour souls, the passage of time between when mom and dad say “So long” and “We're home” seems like an eternity.

A few personal instances when time seems to drag: When sitting at the dentist office with my mouth open; when shoveling inches of wet snow; when mowing the yard on a hot summer's day; when waiting for the bathroom to open up; when in the presence of people whose company I don't enjoy. Time sees to fly for me when: I'm photographing a subject I like; I'm walking in the ocean surf looking for shells; I'm in the presence of people whose company I enjoy.

My time-seems-to-fly list grew last week to include taking photos of a solar eclipse during totality.

No matter were one was in the path of totality on Aug. 21, no one on the ground had the opportunity to view as much as 3 minutes when the moon completely covered the face of the sun. Add in a heavy dose of cloud cover and the time when totality was visible last week shrunk to zero in some places.

In Carbondale, Ill., thousands of people turned out in anticipation of 2 minutes and 37 seconds of totality. However, because of clouds that rolled in at the wrong time, only 10 seconds of totality was visible.

However, approximately 35 miles to the west in rural Jackson, Mo., where I traveled for a look at totality, some pre-eclipse clouds thankfully dissipated and the entire eclipse, which included 2.5 minutes of totality, was visible.

But while I was afforded a much longer look at totality than most, time certainly flew by, which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise according to one eclipse expert.

"Totality, no matter how long its duration, seems to last no more than eight seconds.” said former Sky & Telescope magazine editor Norm Sperling, regarding those encountering totality for the first time.

In the weeks and months leading up to the eclipse I had researched how to photograph an eclipse. I had also given the matter considerable thought to the point where I was dreaming about what to do to capture memorable images during totality.

I had a game plan mapped out on which of the two cameras I intended to use during totality. I even had a timer to help me keep track of those precious seconds of totality. I also had built into my totality schedule a few seconds during which I would pause to just enjoy the spectacle, as one eclipse-photographing expert had strongly recommended doing.

But as John Steinbeck once wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Almost immediately my game plan flew out the window when totality arrived and I no longer needed to use welder's glass to shoot through. It didn't help that at the start of totality I forgot to start my timer. Precious seconds were also lost due to inaccurate exposure settings on one camera, an autofocus on my second camera that refused to focus and taking too long to “enjoy the moment.”

Looking back it seems a minor miracle that I captured any images worth keeping during what seemed to be the fastest 2.5 minutes of my life.

The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.