How to photograph a solar eclipse, with Alan Dyer
Enjoy this movie with Alan Dyer to study how to photograph a photo voltaic eclipse.

Astronomy writer and photographer Alan Dyer spoke to the Hamilton Beginner Astronomers group about how to photograph (and nevertheless get pleasure from!) the 2024 total solar eclipse. These strategies can also utilize to the impending annular photo voltaic eclipse that will be crossing the Americas on October 14, 2023. As perfectly as the whole photo voltaic eclipse crossing from Mexico throughout the United States to northeastern Canada on April 8, 2024, hundreds of thousands will have the chance to capture a solar eclipse. So, if you also want to consider your hand at images, you can enjoy Alan Dyer’s advice in the online video previously mentioned. Or read on for a summary of his tips.

How to photograph a photo voltaic eclipse

Total solar eclipses go by pretty immediately. In 2017, I was in Wyoming and was treated to the swiftest two minutes and 19 seconds of my life as the moon blotted out the sunlight. So very first you have to make your mind up if it is really worth your exertion and the anxiety of photographing the eclipse. For me, individually, I only plan to maintain my mobile phone up a couple instances throughout the 2024 totality and snap a pair amateurish shots. I know that I will not be capable to get everything as lovely as astrophotographers can do. And that is what Alan Dyer suggests in his to start with of 5 doable degrees for photographing the eclipse: the best method is having a photo with your cellphone.

Below are his five options for photographing the eclipse, in increasing purchase of difficulty:

  1. Cellular phone camera
  2. Wide-angle time-lapse
  3. Telephoto films
  4. Telephoto stills
  5. Telescope on monitoring mount
Photograph a solar eclipse: Black circle over the sun with bright white streamers showing cornoa and some pink promeninces along the limb.
Fred Espenak captured this graphic of the hybrid solar eclipse on April 20, 2023, from a ship in the Indian Ocean. The image is a composite of 11 pictures shot with distinct shutter speeds to file the vivid depth of the corona. This photo was the Astronomy Photo of the Working day for April 29, 2023. Graphic through APOD/ Fred Espenak. Utilized with permission.

1. A cell phone camera photograph of a solar eclipse

Alan states that you can established your digital camera on a huge-angle lens watch in purchase to capture the floor and the sun at the exact time. Or you could zoom in to seize a closeup of the sunshine during totality. But he claims the very best shot with your phone’s camera will be to mount it on some kind of tripod and then established it to just take a time-lapse. Or, perhaps improved still, is take a 4K movie that will seize your expressions of awe and question as the eclipse progresses. In this situation, he suggests setting up a minute or two prior to totality, so you really do not have to fuss with it and can just take pleasure in the event.

2. Large-angle time-lapse

Established your camera up on a tripod and established it on vehicle exposure. Manually concentrate the lens on infinity. Then start out the digital camera prior to totality and permit it do all the function! The camera will take hundreds of photos although you enjoy the view are living.

Dependent on what dimensions lens you use, you may well be in a position to incorporate the landscape in your picture. This will be extra demanding in locations wherever the sunlight will be better in the sky. You may well want to use planetarium program with area-of-perspective indicators to established up the framing and composition of your photos. You will want to do the preparing and framing in advance, so you are not less than a time crunch when the second of eclipse arrives.

Some of the more complex factors that Alan consists of are: established the exposure with huge place sampling (not spot metering), set publicity payment to -1 EV, and use an intervalometer with 1-next interval.

Making use of the same digital camera, you could also shoot 4K online video, and this time you are going to seize the audio as effectively.

And do not ignore to switch off your camera when totality ends!

3. Telephoto films

To consider a telephoto video as a result of your camera, Alan endorses using a 300mm to 500mm lens on a mounted tripod. For the partial phases, you are going to want an authorized solar filter. Established up and apply taking pictures of the sunshine in advance of the working day of the eclipse.

Alan sets up his camera with the filter on, and rechecks the focus a pair minutes right before totality. Then, about a minute just before totality, he usually takes the filter off when he is no lengthier seeking by the lens. Of training course, as constantly, preserve in brain that seeking via a digital camera at the sunlight can consequence in blindness. So really don’t do that! And bear in mind to change the filter after totality.

As with the preceding solutions, he states that you can use autofocus for easy and apparent outcomes. And just permit the sunshine drift by the frame. Some of the other specialized specs he endorses are to leave the lens aperture extensive open and have a minimal ISO. Make absolutely sure you have a solid tripod and head.

4. Telephoto stills

If you want close-up however photos of the eclipse, you are going to want to use a telephoto lens on a digital camera with a tripod, or else a compact telescope. The exposure duration can vary widely relying on what you want to capture. A one-2nd publicity can seize additional of the wisps of the corona and earthshine on the dark side of the moon. Although a 1/1000 exposure will give you a better search at the diamond ring.

Alan claims to shoot the major Raw image you can and to use your DSLR camera on are living see. With a mirror-a lot less digital camera, Alan endorses utilizing the electrical 1st-curtain shutter.

Automobile-publicity bracketing will let you click the shutter at the time and have it take a selection of exposures for you. You can established this up as a custom made shooting method so that you can click in and out of it effortlessly.

5. Telescope on a monitoring mount to photograph a solar eclipse

The most difficult option is to use your telescope on a monitoring mount to photograph the eclipse. Hopefully you now have expertise with your telescope and mount and have practiced photographing with your set up. But if you want to have a seriously close-up perspective of the eclipse, you’ll need to have it tracking the sunlight and moon so that there is no blurring in your photographs.

Alan implies making use of the crescent moon as exercise for the eclipse. In this article are some issues to ask yourself whilst practicing using visuals with the moon:

  • Does almost everything connect securely?
  • Can you emphasis properly?
  • When you tackle the digicam, does it blur your picture?
  • How very long of an publicity can you take?

And if it is cloudy on eclipse day … go in advance and shoot extensive exposures anyway, especially throughout the partial or diamond ring phases. Who is aware of what your digicam may well capture? As very long as you have the tracking established up, your camera is aware of where the eclipse is even by way of the clouds.

If you want even far more strategies from Alan, view the total online video higher than!

Base line: Get guidelines on how to photograph a photo voltaic eclipse with creator and astrophotographer Alan Dyer. Use these guidelines for the October 14, 2023, annular eclipse and the April 8, 2024, full solar eclipse.

By way of Alan Dyer on Hamilton Beginner Astronomers’ YouTube