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5 NASA-approved tips for eclipse photography


If you’re watching the eclipse, you’ll want to take some snaps. NASA has some tips to help you make the most of the opportunity, writes Angus Bezzina.


People gather to watch a solar eclipse.
Anyone can take a great eclipse photo with a bit of preparation.
David Cooper / Getty

In anticipation of the total solar eclipse that will cross America on 21 August, NASA has provided amateur photographers with some tips on how to make the most of this event by taking photos of it like a pro.

  1. Stay safe

The first step in this process is safety: use a special solar filter to protect your camera when you point it at the Sun, in the same way you might use eclipse glasses to protect your eyes.

This filter can be removed at totality, however, when the Sun is completely behind the Moon, to capture a shot of the star’s outer atmosphere, known as its corona.

  1. Steady as she goes

To help eliminate blurriness from images, consider using a tripod to stabilise the camera and a delayed shutter release timer to take shots without bumping it.

  1. Don’t forget the ground

It’s also worth keeping an eye on your surroundings on Earth during the eclipse, especially for those who do not have a telephoto zoom lens, as the landscape will be bathed in elongated shadows and strange lighting.

On this point, photographer Bill Ingalls recommends capturing the human experience, as events like this usually involve comical behaviour epitomised by overly animated pointing and gawking.

  1. Know your camera

To ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day, practice beforehand to make sure you know your camera’s capabilities in advance.

If you can, work out how to manually adjust your camera’s aperture and exposure for crisper photos. An aperture setting of f/8 to f/6 and a shutter speed between 1/1000 and 1 second are recommended for DSLR cameras.

  1. It’s a vision thing

Regardless of what equipment you have, you can still take a great photo of the eclipse. The most important things are a good eye and a vision for the scene that you want to capture.

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Angus Bezzina is a writer from Sydney, Australia.
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