Five tips from NASA for photographing the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21

phys.org | 8/11/2017 | Staff
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The total solar eclipse crossing America on Aug. 21 will be the first eclipse to march from sea to shining sea in nearly 100 years. This astronomical event is a unique opportunity for scientists studying in the shadow of the Moon, but it's also a perfect opportunity to capture unforgettable images. Whether you're an amateur photographer or a selfie master, try out these tips for photographing the eclipse.

To take images as the sun is being eclipsed, you'll need to use a special solar filter to protect your camera, just as you'll need a pair of eclipse glasses to protect your own eyes. However, at totality, when the Moon completely blocks the sun, make sure to remove the filter so you can see the sun's outer atmosphere—the corona.

Pieces - Equipment - Eclipse - Tripod - Camera

Having a few other pieces of equipment can also come in handy during the eclipse. Using a tripod can help you stabilize the camera and avoid taking blurry images during the low lighting. Additionally, using a delayed shutter release timer will allow you to snap shots without jiggling the camera.

Taking a stunning photo has more to do with the photographer than the camera. Whether you have a high-end DLSR, or a camera phone, you can take great photos during the eclipse; after all, the best piece of equipment you can have is a good eye and a vision for the image you want to create. If you don't have a telephoto zoom lens, focus on taking landscape shots, which capture the changing environment.

Sun - Element - Eclipse - Moon - Slips

While the sun is the most commanding element of an eclipse, remember to look around you. As the Moon slips in front of the sun, the landscape will be bathed in long shadows, creating eerie lighting across the landscape. Light filtering through the overlapping leaves of trees, creating natural pinholes, which will...
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