Iceland at night

Eclipse Photography

How to photograph a total solar eclipse?

If you're seeing your first total solar eclipse, don't attempt to take pictures of it. Really. It's such an awe-inspiring sight you really want to make the most of it. You'll be in for a shock at how fast these precious seconds and minutes of totality pass. Even the longest total solar eclipse seems like the briefest moment.

Odds are, however, that you will be tempted to take your own picture. After all, there's nothing like having your own photographs. But how can you shoot the total eclipse?

During the partial phase of the eclipse, you must always use a safe solar filter. Fortunately, in our shop, we offer safe solar filters for cameras and telescopes for sale made by our friends at Baader Planetarium in Germany. Safe solar filters are always put in front of your camera lens or telescope.

The filter should be securely mounted so that it won't blown away by a bust of wind but can still be removed quickly You want to remove the filter when totality starts to catch Baily's Beads, the diamond ring, pink solar prominences and, of course, the jewel itself: The solar corona.

Modern day cameras often feature what's called exposure bracketing. It allows you to shoot a sequence of images that automatically vary the exposures to reveal the extent of the solar corona. By using exposure bracketing, you do not need to fiddle with settings on the camera manually.

Afterwards, you can combine or stack multiple images together in Photoshop and make a beautiful HDR image of the corona.

Check out this article by our friend and colleague, the National Geographic photographer Babak Tafreshi.

How to photograph with a smart phone?

If you just point and shoot the partial eclipse, the image of the Sun will be tiny and you run the risk of damaging your phone's cameras. It will also be completely overexposed.

One very useful approach that will greatly improve your eclipse images is adapter to attach your phone to a tripod to keep it stable. It also allows you to attain better focus when you zoom in.

So how to do it,

  1. Place solar eclipse goggles or viewers in front of the camera
  2. If you have a tripod, point it towards the Sun and zoom in.
  3. Press on the live view image to change the exposure
  4. Focus, lock it and shoot.
  5. To capture totality, do the same as above only without the solar eclipse goggles in front of the camera.

It can also be fun to simply capture a video when the shadow of the Moon approaches and people's reaction when totality starts.

How to photograph with a telescope?

A telescope or a zoom lens is a great option to capture the eclipse in more detail.

This article will be updated very soon with detailed information on photographing with a telescope.