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Capturing the Eclipse

You can capture the eclipse with just about any type of camera, including the one in your phone.

During the total eclipse the sky will be dark, so you won’t need any kind of filter. You probably will want a tripod or some other type of brace to keep the camera steady, though.

To shoot close-ups of the corona, you’ll want a long-focal length lens (500 mm, for example) or an equivalent setting on your digital camera. A shorter lens will allow you to capture the entire tableau of eclipsed Sun and twilight colors along the horizon, and to add drama with people or objects in the foreground. Don’t use dark filters on the camera because the Sun’s corona is actually quite faint.

For the partial eclipse, you need to use the same care as when looking at the eclipse with your eyes alone. Use a mylar or glass solar filter over your camera lens. Without such a lens you could damage your eye when looking through a camera’s viewfinder, and the Sun will be so bright that it will overpower the intervening Moon.

Photography experts recommend using manual instead of automatic focus, and using a relatively low ISO setting (100 or so).