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Cool Links: How to photograph today’s annular solar eclipse

Submitted by on May 20, 2012 – 1:23 pm

Annular ring eclipse photo, courtesy of National Geographic

Today, the western United States gets treated to a rare astronomical event, an annular eclipse of the sun. Depending on where you are, the show starts around 5:00 PM Pacific Time and runs to almost 8:00 PM. During the moments of annularity, the moon will be completely in front of the sun, but not covering it. The result will be a pretty spectacular “Ring of Fire”. I was fortunate to catch an annular eclipse 18 years ago when we were in Lubbock, Texas. It was spectacular.

Many of us who are in the eclipse’s path will be tempted to look at the eclipse or shoot the eclipse with our cameras or iPhones. Here are some links to great tips on how to safely view and shoot today’s eclipse.

IMPORTANT! Do NOT look straight at the eclipse! You will damage your eyes. Really.

Also, USA Today writes:

If you have a compact camera with an LCD screen (such as in iPhone. — =M=), you could, in theory, watch the eclipse on the screen, but it will still probably damage the camera’s image sensor, so we wouldn’t recommend it.

User Charlemagne in the Canon Digital Photography Forums writes:

If it is a full eclipse, I would try capturing the landscape at that moment. It’s magical. As if life suddenly comes to a stop. So wide angle for me. If it lasts long enough, might try to capture the diamond ring around the moon, but I’m not sure that is safe without extra protective filters. You don’t want to toast your sensor, or your eyes.

Here are a few links I found which are written for DSLRs and traditional cameras, but many of the techniques can easily be adapted for use with an iPhone camera.

How to photograph a solar eclipse, by Katherine Gray, Tecca, USA Today

How to photograph Sunday’s solar eclipse, The Christian Science Monitor


I’ll be shooting the eclipse today with an OWLE BUBO along with it’s very nice, huge, light-gathering wide angle lens to capture what’s around me.

Have fun, view safely and if you get any good, striking or eerie eclipse pics, share them in Life In LoFi’s Flickr Group!




Marty Yawnick

Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.