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photographing the solar eclipse


  • solar eclipses are very popular and uncommon events to photograph but you do need to special gear and techniques


being there

  • make sure you know where it will be (they have a narrow path of around 100km or so)
  • check the likely weather forecast for best locations
  • it is likely that most local accommodation along the path will be booked out a year in advance!
  • traffic may be jammed - get there a day or two earlier
  • your “empty car park” may be full of like-minded people on the day
  • your mobile may not work due to overloading of the mobile towers by the crowds - download GPS maps beforehand in case you need to move locations but still stay in the path

being safe

  • DO NOT look directly at the sun, this will cause permanent blindness
  • DO NOT just use a ND filter on an eyepiece of a telescope - you need a special solar filter on the FRONT of the telescope
  • likewise, do NOT use just a normal ND filter (you need a 16 stop one!) on your telephoto lens when pointing it at the sun, it will generate a lot of heat on your sensor or through your optical viewfinder and onto your eyes USE a special solar filter on the front of the lens


  • solar filter (or #14 Welder’s Glass as a last resort - color corrections and image quality will be issues) on the front of your telescope or lens
  • if using a mirrorless camera, a 16 stop ND filter may be used instead of a solar filter - do NOT use this with a dSLR as the UV and IR light will destroy your eyes
  • tripod, or, ideally, when using super-telephoto lenses, the camera should be mounted to an equatorial mount which tracks the sun to make it easier to keep it in the frame rather than need to keep re-composing.


  • manual focus
  • manual exposure - bracket exposures, under-expose for metering
  • daylight white balance
  • shoot in RAW mode
  • remove solar filter during totality then replace it ASAP at end of totality
photo/solar_eclipse.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/02 10:18 by gary1

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