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Simple tips for safely photographing the solar eclipse using your phone


The moment of total solar eclipse in Glendo, Wyoming, August 21, 2017.

John T. Meade


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John T. Meade


The moment of total solar eclipse in Glendo, Wyoming, August 21, 2017.

John T. Meade

If you plan to check it out on Monday total solar eclipse The only camera you own is one that doubles as your phone, and with a little preparation (and precautions) you can still take some relatively good photos.

“It all depends on how much effort one wants to put in,” said Sean Walker, associate editor of Science magazine. sky and telescope Magazine.First, you need to wear solar eclipse glasses or similar protective glasses while aiming the camera or even just observing the eclipse.

In the U.S, holistic path The best views extend from southern Texas, through the South and Midwest, into the Northeast, and onto Maine. But weather permitting, anyone in the continental United States will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse.

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Don’t look up – look down!

Even if you don’t live in or travel to that strip of moon that almost perfectly covers the sun, it’s possible to capture interesting images. “If you’re within a few hundred miles of the path of totality at the time of the maximum eclipse,” Walker said, “the spaces between the leaves on the trees and basically anything that creates a pinhole will cast the image of the crescent sun into The ground or the wall…depends on the height of the sun at the time”.

A photo shows a solar eclipse projected through the space between leaves on August 21, 2017, in Glendo, Wyoming.

John T. Mead


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A photo shows a solar eclipse projected through the space between leaves on August 21, 2017, in Glendo, Wyoming.

John T. Meade

The photo “could have been easily taken with a cell phone,” says director John Meader. Polaris Planetarium and Educational Services in Fairfield, Maine. Another option is to photograph a total solar eclipse as your surroundings darken. “Maybe shoot before and during the same scene to capture the changing light levels,” he suggested.

Want to be more ambitious?A tripod is a must

If you decide to take photos of the eclipse directly, more preparation is required.

The key to a good photo, Walker said, is “a simple tripod that stabilizes your phone so you can take the photo without it shaking during totality.”

Even so, pressing the shutter button with your hand can cause unwanted shake.To avoid this, consider using Bluetooth trigger.Or set the camera to “timer mode” and give it a few seconds to stabilize before taking the photo.

Randall Benton freelance photographer Another option, he said, passionate about solar eclipses, is to “shoot video just as the sun is getting dark.” While cell phone video isn’t as good as stills, you can always extract stills from video. he says later in the video.

For best results, use your phone’s manual settings

If you’ve never fiddled with your camera’s settings, now is a good time. You’ll need to reduce your exposure, at least during the partial eclipse phase, and set your focus to “infinity.” (Here’s how to access manual controls for iPhone or Android.) If you have a second pair of eclipse glasses, you can use them as a filter Benton says it’s possible to cover your phone’s camera.It protects your phone’s camera from possible damage Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, giving you a more dramatic shot.

“You want these solar glasses as close to the lens as possible because most [them] There are mirrors on both sides,” he explains.If any light leaks in from the sides, “it will reflect off the back of the filter and create glare or interesting reflections that ruin the image. “

If you’re on the path to totality, don’t forget to remove your filters when the magic moment arrives. “Try to zoom in, because viewing totality won’t hurt your eyes. Only when the disc of the Sun is visible, you really shouldn’t look directly at it without filtering,” Mead said.

Of course, you can also leave your photography to the professionals and live in the moment and enjoy the celestial show.

“While it’s great to take photos yourself, if this is your first time viewing a solar eclipse, really enjoy the experience,” Walker said. [you] In fact, when you actually experience wholeness, it’s hard for your brain to comprehend it…it’s such an amazing experience. “



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