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Want to photograph the eclipse with your phone? NASA has some tips for you

NASA shares how you can take great eclipse photos.
By

Published onApril 8, 2024

Galaxy A32 in hand taking picture
TL;DR
  • A total solar eclipse will pass over Canada, the US, and Mexico on April 8.
  • NASA has released some tips on how to best take pictures of the event.

If you haven’t heard by now, a total eclipse will be passing through North America on April 8. For those wanting to catch the event as it happens, NASA has provided a few tips on how to best capture the moment with your phone or camera.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or amateur, anyone is capable of taking great photos of an eclipse. As NASA points out in its blog post, you don’t even need a fancy DLSR camera to get the results you’re looking for.

First and foremost, the organization points out to be careful, because looking directly at the sun is dangerous for your eyes, as well as your camera. If you want to take pictures during the partial eclipse phase, you’ll want to use a special solar filter. This filter works similarly to how eclipse glasses protect your eyes from the blinding light. Once the moon completely blocks the sun, however, you’ll be able to take the filter off.

The second tip is for those who don’t have a telephoto zoom lens. If this includes you, NASA suggests taking landscape shots instead to capture how the eerie glow from the corona is changing the look of the environment around you. It further adds that to avoid taking blurry photos, you might want to use a tripod or use a delayed shutter release timer.

Next up, check to see if your camera or phone camera has adjustable exposures. Using the adjustable exposure will help you lighten or darken images to account for lighting challenges created by the eclipse.

Specifically for DLSR cameras, NASA says:

For DSLR cameras, the best way to determine the correct exposure is to test settings on the uneclipsed Sun beforehand. Using a fixed aperture of f/8 to f/16, try shutter speeds between 1/1000 to 1/4 second to find the optimal setting, which you can then use to take images during the partial stages of the eclipse. During totality, the corona has a wide range of brightness, so it’s best to use a fixed aperture and a range of exposures from approximately 1/1000 to 1 second.

Last but not least, NASA says to remember to look around you. The unique lighting situation caused by the eclipse will create plenty of opportunities to capture the landscape in a way you haven’t seen before.

If you want to see the path the eclipse will take, NASA has shared a neat graphic that shows how it will all play out. You can also find out what time the eclipse will occur in your area.

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