Toby Knapp

Toby Knapp

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#ECLIPSE: From NASA, here's how to safely do so (VIDEO)

The total solar eclipse is not just a momentous event for scientists delving into celestial mysteries; it's also a golden hour for photography enthusiasts of all levels. From amateur shutterbugs to seasoned selfie aficionados, the eclipse presents a unique opportunity to capture breathtaking images that blend cosmic wonder with earthly beauty. Beth Anthony of NASA and other photography experts offer invaluable tips for anyone aiming to photograph this rare event.

#1 - Prioritize Safety for Eyes and Equipment

The paramount rule of eclipse photography is safety. Direct exposure to the sun can harm both your eyes and camera sensor. Equip your camera with a special solar filter for the partial phases of the eclipse and don your eclipse glasses to safeguard your vision. However, when totality arrives, and the Moon fully obscures the Sun, remove your camera's filter to witness and capture the glowing corona in all its glory.

#2 - The Best Camera Is the One You Have

A memorable photo is crafted by the photographer, not the camera. Whether you're using a sophisticated DSLR or the camera on your phone, you can take stunning eclipse photos. What truly matters is your vision and the ability to see the potential in your surroundings. If you're without a telephoto lens, embrace the wider landscape, capturing the surreal changes in light and shadow.

To enhance your photography, consider a tripod for stability in low light and a delayed shutter release timer to prevent camera shake. These tools can be instrumental in achieving clear, crisp images.

#3 - Embrace the Full Experience

While the eclipse itself is mesmerizing, don't overlook the world around you. The changing light casts an otherworldly glow, and the shadows form patterns that are equally captivating. NASA photographer Bill Ingalls advises capturing the human element: the awe, the joy, and the communal experience of eclipse watching. These moments can add a powerful narrative to your eclipse imagery.

#4 - Know Your Gear and Practice

Familiarize yourself with your camera's settings and capabilities well before the eclipse. Practice adjusting exposures to manage the challenging lighting conditions you'll face. For DSLR users, experiment with different shutter speeds and apertures to find the ideal settings for both the partial phases and the totality. The corona's varying brightness during totality calls for a range of exposures to capture its full majesty.

#5 - Share Your Journey

After the eclipse, share your experiences and images with friends, family, and the wider world. Tagging @NASA when you post your photos on social media can connect you with a global community of eclipse enthusiasts. This shared experience can amplify the joy and wonder of your celestial captures.

In the end, while you're focused on photographing this spectacular event, don't forget to take a moment to witness it directly. The experience of seeing a total solar eclipse with your own eyes is unparalleled. Just remember, safety first—use your eclipse glasses before and after totality to protect your vision.

As we look forward to the total solar eclipse, let these tips from NASA and photography experts guide you in capturing not just images, but memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're an experienced photographer or someone who's never pointed a lens at the sky, this eclipse offers a moment to connect with the cosmos in a uniquely personal way.


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