It’s Monday and the long awaited total eclipse is here! Kansas City is off to a dreary start with rainy weather, but we aren’t letting that cloud our excitement for the rare solar event. Depending on where you are located around the US, some views are better than others, but surely you’re ready to take some photos of your experience. Our phones are our go-to cameras these days and we have some quick tips on how to maximize your iPhone and Android photography skills for Instagram-worthy eclipse pics today.
Safeguard Your Eyesight
You are going to want to heed this warning, because it could mean the difference between keeping your eyesight 20/20 or going blind. That’s no joke. Staring at the sun can seriously damage your eyes, so make sure you have your special eclipse glasses handy.
Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers (link is external) site for a list of makers and dealers of the glasses that are verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.
Make sure to always supervise children using solar filters. Be considerate of beloved pets that may be outside and prone to looking up at the sun unprotected today by taking them indoors during peak hours.
Is it Safe for my Phone?
There has been a great deal of chatter online about whether you can damage your smartphone’s camera by aiming it directly at the sun. Many opinions floating around the net claim it is generally safe if kept brief. Another clever tip is to place a pair of solar glasses in front of your camera lens before you snap your photos. Do yourself a favor and read up on some quick research. Decide if you’re ready to risk camera issues. NASA has put together a guide that details the safety issues of photographing the eclipse by phone. Hey, worst case scenario, you can call your buddies at Mission Repair to mend your damaged camera!
Stabilize Your Settings
Most smartphones have camera applications that will allow you to set and lock exposure and points of focus. Long press on the display to lock the focus on the sun and then you should be able to slide up and down with your finger to adjust the amount of exposure. In this situation, you will want to lower the exposure setting overall to counteract the bright glow of the sun.
Gear and Accessories
Use a selfie stick, tripod, or DIY item to hold your device steady. Not only will this result in clearer, focused images, but you can be hands-free and able to enjoy watching the eclipse yourself.
Capture the Motion
Set it and forget it. Take a time-lapse video, a setting that comes standard on most popular iPhone and Samsung Galaxy lines. Some Android devices will require downloading a third-party app for time-lapse apps from the Play Store. We recommend, Boomerang, a catchy app that takes looping mini-videos perfect for social media sites such as Instagram or Facebook.
Whether you choose to use your phone, or leave it up to the professional photography devices to capture the stunning sight….Be safe, have fun, share your photos and experience in our comment section or Facebook page and enjoy the magic of this rare moment!