This is the seventh installment in a series about the upcoming total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024. Villagers are very fortunate to be directly aligned with the path.
You do not need a professional DSLR camera to photograph the eclipse. In fact, any camera will do, depending on how you want to capture the event. You just need to take the proper precautions to protect the camera (and your eyes).
It takes some skill and some extra equipment to take dramatic pictures of a solar eclipse. But it is possible to capture the mood even with a simple cell phone camera or compact camera. You cannot expect to take spectacular pictures of a solar eclipse using only your cell phone because smartphones and small compact cameras have a wide and small lens and a small sensor. But, there are ways to capture the eclipse by playing to their strengths.
A good digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera gives much more control over the image components and can result in much more dramatic photos, but it also requires more equipment and skill.
Digiscoping is a popular way to photograph the sun and solar eclipses. Many telescopes and spotting scopes allow cameras to be affixed to the scopes via adapters. Additionally, you can just hold a mobile device camera or point-and-shoot camera to the eyepiece of a scope or binoculars for casual digiscoping. The advantage of digiscoping is that, like with a mirror lens, you can achieve high levels of magnification without much of the expense of an exotic photographic telephoto lens.
Just remember that whichever method you choose, you must have a solar filter on your viewing device at all times except during totality.
Here is a quick breakdown of how to photograph a solar eclipse that applies to all options:
- Research the date, time, and location of the eclipse, and find a clear and uncrowded spot to view it.
- Use a manual camera with a tripod, a remote trigger, and a telephoto lens.
- Protect your eyes and your camera lens and/or viewing device with certified solar filters or eclipse glasses.
- Take test shots before the eclipse begins to ensure your settings (particularly your exposure) are correct.
- Shoot the sun before, during, and after the eclipse, adjusting the focus and exposure manually.
- Remove the filter only during totality, when the sun is completely obscured by the moon.
- Take breaks to enjoy the eclipse visually with your solar glasses.
The HSV Camera Club and Village Stargazers will continue to post information articles on the solar eclipse. Over the next few weeks, we will cover these various photographing options, the equipment needed, and how to use them in more detail. Next week we will address photographing with a DSLR camera.
References: B&Hphotovideo.com, TimeandDate.com
By HSV Camera Club and Village Stargazers
Click here to read “Dos and Don’ts – 2024 Total Solar Eclipse.”
Click here to visit the HSV Camera Club website.
Click here to visit the Hot Springs Village Stargazers Facebook Page.
Click here to visit the official Hot Springs Village POA Facebook Page.