How to Photograph the Eclipse

Posted at 3:37 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 16:37:46-04

The total solar eclipse on August 21st will pass just south of Omaha, and promises to be a great photo op for amateur photographers across the country


In the weeks leading up to the eclipse, Canon Live Learning went across the country doing workshops on proper photography techniques.


“This is a standard 70-200mm lens.  It’s going to work well,” explains instructor Dave Henry during a workshop in Omaha.


“The most important thing that we need to have to be able to shoot a solar eclipse is this device right here.  This is a solar filter.  And you absolutely need this filter on through all the phases of a total eclipse, except the totality part,” said Henry.


In Omaha, we will only experience a 99% eclipse, so Henry said to leave the filter on the whole time.  However, if you’re in the path of the totality, Henry explained what to do.


“You would have to take the solar filter off during the 2.5 minutes of totality; then you would have to put the filter back on the minute that totality ends,” said Henry.


Partial phases will start around noon on Monday, reaching totality at 1pm.


Henry also suggested setting your camera in bracketing mode, if possible, to find the best exposure setting - or how much light is coming into the camera.


“Start off with a 1/1000 of a second, f/8, with ISO 400, and then work from there.  But if you set your camera in bracketing mode, one of those seven are bound to be really close,” said Henry.


As far as cell phone photos go, henry says you’re better off saving those for pictures of the family enjoying the moment.


“Your cell phone doesn’t have the zoom capability the big glass like this does. So, what you’re going to wind up with is a tiny little speck.”


Plus, you would also need a solar filter to go over your cell phone camera’s lens, or you can damage but it and your eyes.


Some solar filters still do not let you look through your camera’s viewfinder, so keep your eclipse-viewing glasses handy.


You can find a link to tips from Canon USA by clicking here.