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Photographing Solar Eclipse 2017 – Some Vital Information one Should Know


While considering photography of the hardly 2-minute wonder of solar eclipse 2017, many of the photography experts and astronomers do have only one suggestion, don’t do it. The major reason why they think in this line is due to the fact that you get hardly about 150 to 160 seconds only during 21 August 2017, to enjoy the eclipse and witness one of the most spectacular sight you may ever see in you life. So, why you want to spend time simply fiddling with the camera. There is no doubt that it will be the most photographed eclipse of all the times. So, simply enjoy the show and if needed, you can get plenty of images clicked by the experts afterwards.

The danger of photographing an eclipse

First of all, it is strictly instructed that you should never look the sun directly during the time of partial eclipse. If you are trying to do it through your DSLR viewfinder, which shows the sun much bigger, your risks are multifold. Looking directly at the sun through your camera’s viewfinder without proper filtering of light, especially UV rays, may result in blindness.


Even if this is the case, I know that the true photography enthusiasts won’t back out. For those who with to try imaging this wonderful event, here we will discus some basic ideas and tips to practice.


Tips to snap an image of total solar eclipse


  1. The same considerations of photographing the sun in general are applicable to clicking an image of the solar eclipse 2017 during its partial phase. Do use a quality solar filter to cover your camera lens or the objective lens of telescope you use.
  2. As like viewing it with naked eyes, once the eclipse reaches to its totality as the moon covers the sun’s disk totally, you can remove the solar filter from the camera and get a few quick snaps. However, once the totality ends, you need to replace the filter to capture the subsequent partial eclipse images.
  3. During its totality, the corona of the sun may appear as bright as a full Moon. So, set the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture accordingly. The best combination is shutter speed from 1/10s to 1/1000s, ISO 200-400, and aperture as of f/4 to f/5.6 over multiple images.
  4. To get a bright close-up image of the sun, you may need to set the lens with a focal length of minimum 300mm. The image of the sun may be quite small otherwise.
  5. If there is no lens or telescope to offer a longer focal length or trying to use your smart phone camera, then the best shot can be made by capturing the surrounding landscape or people silhouetted against the darkened sky to get a realistic image.
  6. Don’t use the flash while capturing son. It will only help to get worthy image of the eclipse, instead will only help to distract the focus of those around you.
  7. Auto focus will not work correctly during the time of totality. Focus manually through a good solar filter.
  8. You can practice on full moon several days before the eclipse to get an idea about how to capture eclipse sun at best.
  9. Do make a checklist to pack things for the eclipse if you are traveling outstation to experience it.
  10. Always use a tripod if it is feasible to get steady images. You can also use a remote shutter release to avoid any shake.
No doubt that it will be an excellent experience for the avid photographers to capture sun during this its rare form of transformation and some memorable images to be kept for a lifetime. Don’t forget to share your best images here.

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