Most people don’t have expensive professional cameras and lenses to photograph the eclipse on Aug. 21.
We can’t promise that your photos will look as good as those that do, but here are some tips to ensure that your smart phone photos are the best they can be.
1. Practice, practice, practice - With your protective glasses on you are essentially going to be shooting blind. Make sure that you know how your smart phone works without having to see the screen of your phone. Also, the eclipse will only last a few minutes. This may seem like a long time, but trust us, it’s not. If you practice photographing the moon and the sun, while using your protective solar glasses, you will know what you need to do when they big event happens.
2. Don’t chimp, just shoot - Chimping is the term that professional photographers use to describe people who immediately look at the photo on the back of their camera after shooting it. Make sure you have enough room cleared on your phone and that it is fully charged. Most importantly, take your photos and just be in the moment. Don’t waste time and ruin the experience by chimping.
3. Don’t zoom - The zoom on your smart phone does not work like a zoom lens does. All it will do is pixelate your image, which is no good. Your image will look fuzzy and out of focus. You are better off to take a scenic photo of the eclipse where the eclipse will only be a part of the image.
4. Use a filter over the lens - If you have ever taken a photo with the sun in it, you will see that it doesn't photograph well. Usually you will just see a very bright spot where the sun should be. If you use the special filter meant for shooting the eclipse, it will cut down on the sun blooming and give you a more focused view of the eclipse. Watch the video to see how to use the solar eclipse glasses with your smart phone to photograph the eclipse.
5. Be realistic about your expectations and just have fun - Full disclosure, as great as the cameras in our smart phones are, the photos that you take of the eclipse with them will not be as good as those taken with professional cameras. If you know this going in, then you won’t be disappointed when you compare your photos to those taken by professional photographers. Just enjoy the event, it doesn’t happen often, and have fun.