The total eclipse is going to be spectacular and is predicted to be one of the most shared photo events in social media. You don’t have to have a high powered camera to join in on the photo opportunity.
Here are some quick tips for taking pictures of the eclipse using your iPhone or Android smartphone without expensive equipment.
- Protect Your Eyes – Don’t look directly at the sun or eclipse. You can get permanent damage and not immediately realize it.
- Attach your Smartphone to Binoculars or Telescope (optional) – Using an adapter strap your smartphone to a telescope or binoculars for best shots. The telescope or binoculars needs to have a solar filter.
- Place Solar Glasses over the Camera Lens – If you have an extra pair of solar glasses place one over the camera lens on your smartphone. Apple says that a solar filter in not required but to be safe you may want to consider using one.
- Use a tripod – The time of totality is very short, ranging from 1 – 3 mins depending on your viewing location. In Asheville, 99.5% totality will occur at 2:37. In Brevard, NC you will get 100% totality from 2:37:21 – 2:38:26 (for 1 min 5 seconds). The partial eclipse will be viewable from 1:08 – 4:01. So, totality is very short. You will want to make sure you get good steady shots as you won’t have much time to make tripod adjustments. And, you don’t want to risk missing the best shot by holding the camera in your hands.
- Avoid using Zoom – To get the best shots, avoid using zoom and then crop your photos later.
- Consider using a Night Camera App – Night camera apps are designed to take better pictures in low light. At eclipse totality you will get near darkness when the moon crosses in front of the sun. There are several night camera apps that are designed for low light situations. Here are two options:
- NightCap Camera App – $1.99 – Allows you to set shutter speed and ISO to get the best exposure in low-light.
- Night Sky Camera App – Free with Ads ($1.99 No Ads/advanced features) – Has multiple setting that provide better pics in low light.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Practice taking night sky and sun pictures using these tips prior to the eclipse event. Try taking pictures of the moon and toward the sun to help you know what works best for you in your eclipse viewing location. This will help you get the perfect shot on this once in a life-time opportunity.
If you want to get some tips on cool apps and websites for tracking the event, check out: Interesting Facts & Apps for Tracking the Solar Eclipse