Remembering the 2017 Solar Eclipse With the Most Mindblowing Oregon Images

solar eclipse 2017, solar eclipse 2024, travel, where to view, warnings, traffic, beyond oregon, april 8 2024
The eclipse over Big Summit Prairie / Composite Image Copyright Samantha Leigh Scholl/

Five years ago on August 21, the 2017 Great Solar Eclipse tore across US skies, leaving a multitude of viewers in awe. Some parts of Oregon were fortunate to experience that incredible two minutes of totality as it eerily darkened the skies at 10:19am.

I'd planned my trip, calculating the route in order to avoid traffic seeping into Central Oregon and make it to the BLM site I'd staked out weeks before. It was right next to the John Day, just north of the Painted Hills near Burnt River. On the morning of the 21st, I packed up my camping gear and drove a mile up the gravel road, looking for the perfect perch overlooking the river. I would park myself there for the next two hours.

Camera settings were fiddled with constantly. I was nervous. This was an event I'd never before witnessed, much less tried to photograph, but there I was. Sitting in the high-desert dirt with two Canon cameras and two lenses pointed skyward. When the moment came I was firing off rapid shots like an insane person. Nearby people held their breath and then erupted in cheers of joy. The feeling was and still is indescribable.

The final image I captured (among others) is a composite of two of the darkened Central Oregon landscape, and one of the eclipse itself. My intention was to exactly recreate the image my eyes saw, impossible to accomplish with a single photograph, and this was the result:

My eclipse composite from the John Day River valley. / Copyright Danielle Denham / thePDXphotographer

Thousands of photographers in Oregon raised their lenses to the sky that morning. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Andrew Studer

Copyright Andrew Studer / Andrew Studer Visuals

2. Gary Thurman

Copyright Gary Thurman / Gary Thurman Photography

3. Tony Jones

Copyright Tony Jones / Tony Jones Photography

4. Jasman Mander


Do you love Oregon?

Sign up for monthly emails full of local travel inspiration and fun trip ideas. In each newsletter we'll share upcoming events, new things to do, hot dining spots and great travel ideas.

Copyright Jasman Mander / Mander Studio

5. Jeff Berkes

Copyright Jeff Berkes /

6. Arjen Sundman

Copyright Arjen Sundman / Facebook

7. Jon Stone

Copyright Jon Stone / Jon Stone Photography

8. Mike Paek

Copyright Mike Paek / Instagram

9. Gary Randall

Copyright Gary Randall / Gary Randall Photographic Art

10. Jeffery S. Green

Copyright Jeffery S. Green / Dynamic Photography

Did you witness the 2017 Solar Eclipse from your area? Tell us your experience!