As people look up at the eclipse, this guy will be falling down

Don Carrington will attempt to capture a photo similar to this one during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.
Don Carrington will attempt to capture a photo similar to this one during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. COURTESY OF DON CARRINGTON

Want to make the solar eclipse more memorable? Try taking a picture. And if that’s not enough, take the photo while falling from the sky.

That’s on the to-do list for Don Carrington and a couple of his certified skydiving friends on Aug. 21, during the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in nearly 100 years. They plan to jump out of a plane during the eclipse.

“I wanted to see the eclipse anyway,” said Carrington, a reporter for Carolina Journal in Raleigh. “When I figured out a plan that made sense to me, I talked to the other guys and they said, ‘We’re in.’ I get to see the eclipse, skydive during it, and hopefully will have some good pictures and video also.”

The three will head to Greenwood County Airport, about 40 miles south of Greenville, S.C., to put them in the narrow path of the total eclipse.

Carrington has gone skydiving before with cameras attached to him. But his goal is to take a photo like he’s never taken before – of his friends parachuting through the sky and the total solar eclipse visible in the frame.

A photo of Don Carrington skydiving in August, 2015 with camera gear attached. COURTESY OF LARRY THIESSEN

His plans for the shoot are detailed, drawn up with a considerable amount of uncertainty.

Because of the timing of the full eclipse in that location, about 2:40 p.m., he expects he’ll need to shoot at a 60-degree angle in order to catch his friends in the line of the eclipsed sun.

The three will open their parachutes at just above 10,000 feet, giving him a better chance at success during eight to nine minutes of falling.

He will have GoPro cameras and a Cannon camera attached to his helmet, like he has in previous jumps. The toughest thing to estimate this time, he said, will be how to set the camera to capture desired lighting.

Despite going to great lengths to get unique photos, Carrington said it’s mostly for his own enjoyment.

“I’ll probably put them on Facebook,” he said. “If it’s something really cool, I’ll share it a couple different spots. I have a couple visions of what I can maybe get, if we line everything up.”