This is part two of a two-part recap on the 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).

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. Use a low ISO setting of 100-200 You will need a solar ND filter of at least 16.5 stops. Set your aperture somewhere between f/5.6 to f/11. Your shutter speed should range from about 1/8th of a second during partial phases to 1/2000th at full eclipse upon removal of the solar filter.

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.

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.

Smartphones are perfect for capturing dramatic panoramic shots of the sky and the local scenery during totality. To add creativity to your composition, you can include people observing in the foreground, silhouetted by the sunset colors along the horizon. You can make your own solar filter with an extra pair of solar eclipse glasses. Just cut certified solar glasses in half and tape one of the film pieces over the smartphone lens.

Since the eclipse will be tiny in the default view, it will be impossible to resist the temptation to zoom in slightly. Zooming in on the eclipse will only make the image look grainy and pixelated. Instead, buy a zoom lens, use a telescope, or try cropping the image afterward in a photo editor to make the eclipse look bigger.

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.

This concludes our informational articles on the solar eclipse. We hope they have provided you with some insight to help you get the most out of this phenomenal event. Be safe and happy viewing.

By HSV Camera Club and Village Stargazers

Click here to read “Recap of Solar Eclipse Informational Articles – Part 1.”

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.

Recap of 2024 Solar Eclipse Informational Articles – Part 2 inside