The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is coming…
As we approach the Total Solar Eclipse here in Columbia South Carolina, a lot of people are wondering how they will photograph this once in a life time event? Is it even possible to use a smart phone to capture the Eclipse? Will it ruin my phone camera? At what stage can I photograph the Eclipse? At Blackhound Creative Werks we specialize in photography so we have some awesome tips on how you can use your smartphone to photograph the Total Solar Eclipse.
Practice makes perfect!
Practice taking pictures of the Solar Eclipse?
Yes! Professional photographers spend decades practicing to get quality eclipse shots. It is a very difficult feat because it’s dark and you can’t look directly at the Eclipse until it’s in Totality. They use expensive filters and telescopes, but for the average American a smart phone will be the camera of choice. We suggest that you practice photographing the eclipse because this event is something many of us have never experienced before AND it is said to be really earth shattering.
A total solar eclipse is something that you experience both visually and physically.
As the moon covers the sun the temperature will drop a noticeable amount because the radiant heat from the sun will be gone. Birds and animals will bed down, it will get quiet, and dark. There will be a lot of people around as well so it can get overwhelming. Even expert eclipse chasers have been awe struck during totality and unable to think straight, leaving their camera lenses on. With that being said practicing before the event will help you get a good photograph because there is going to be so much going on.
How does one Practice taking Eclipse photographs?
First make sure you have proper Eclipse glasses because there have been a lot that have been recalled. It is best to get them from a certified manufacturer to ensure they have the proper filters for viewing safety. It is best to practice at night when the moon is out because it is going to be dark when the eclipse occurs. You can use your eclipse glasses as a filter around your smart phone camera. The reason is because the Eclipse is going to be so powerful that it can damage your cameras sensitive sensor. Practicing on the moon also helps you gauge the right distance you will need to zoom in on Eclipse Day.
You will also want to adjust your camera settings on your smart phone:
- Turn off flash and autofocus so your camera phone doesn’t try to autofocus or flash ruining your photo and the experience for others.
- Reduce your exposure by sliding it down so that it controls the amount of light that comes in the lens. It is the sun icon on the camera app in your smart phone.
- You can buy a filter for the lens if you do not want to fuss with using eclipse glasses as a make shift filter.
- You can also buy some inexpensive lenses for smart phones that will help with your zoom capabilities.
- Download an app to help you capture more details of the eclipse or even allow you to capture the images in RAW picture format rather than jpeg.
- Setting up a tripod for your phone will ensure stability so the picture wont be blurry.
- Understanding the different phases of the Eclipse is important as well because you don’t have to use a filter the entire time. In fact if you leave your filter on during totality it will ruin your picture all together. See the graphic below for the different phases of the eclipse. The last image is totality and this is when you can take your filter and glasses off.
- Take one or two photos and then turn your phone off and enjoy the moment. An eclipse can be captured on camera but that cant compare to viewing it with your own eyes.
We hope that these tips were helpful and we can’t wait to see everyone’s posts. Remember the hashtag for the event is #totaleclipsecae. Be sure to check out what we are doing the day of on our social media Blackhound Creative. Happy Photographing everyone!