Tips for photographing the total solar eclipse

The Verge:

I consider myself an amateur photographer, but I’ve never tried taking pictures of celestial events before, and I’ve never even witnessed an eclipse. So I turned to a self-proclaimed astrophotographer Justin Starr to give me some tips about how to best snap a picture of the Sun — before, during, and after totality.

It’s best to not worry too much about getting “good” shots (I’m going to focus on watching, not shooting it) but, if you have to, here are some tips for the photographers among you.

  • Kip Beatty

    For most photographers, getting a great shot of a total solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s something I’ll hang on my wall for years. Yeah, I’m going to worry about getting good shots.

    • Paulettacbivona


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    • GlennC777

      We’re planning to be there to see it, but having said that I reserve photography for more personal subjects. Spending time capturing it on camera would take me completely out of the moment and would only duplicate millions of other photographs of exactly the same thing.

      • Kip Beatty

        You’re not the first person I’ve heard make the “why bother when there will be millions of other photos of the same thing” argument. To that I reply why bother with any travel photography or photography of monuments, famous locations, etc. A quick Google image search will yield all you could ever want, many better than what you could take.

        The fact that it has already been photographed or will be photographed is not the point, nor of any concern to a photographer. It’s your eye, your technique, and your connection to the subject and the moment that matter.

        My father took a photo of Apollo 11 taking off from Kennedy. It hung in our house for years, and it too was a once in a lifetime photo. Were there many other photos of the event available? Sure, but none taken by my Dad, who could have chosen just to take it in visually. If he had, it would have deprived our house of one of it’s most special possessions.

    • StruckPaper

      Are you in the total eclipse zone or are you traveling to get there?

      • Kip Beatty

        I’m in a 93% zone. I’m driving about 3 hours to get to 100%.

  • StruckPaper

    It is very, very difficult to fry a sensor during an eclipse unless one does extremely prolonged exposure. Photographers capture the sun in photographs in the thousands every single day, when the sun is just as strong as it is during an eclipse. So the idea that a camera can be easily damaged during an eclipse is myth. It is possible, but hard to do.