How to use the app to track and photograph a total solar eclipse

Monday Total solar eclipse Probably one of the most filmed and photographed events of the year.

As the moon passes in front of the sun, it engulfs part of North America A few minutes of darkness, crowds of people take pictures or videos of the moment. But powerful sun rays and drastic changes in lighting pose unique challenges in capturing that perfect image.

Here are some tips How to get the best shot:

How do I find the best place to catch the eclipse?

First, get in the right position. You'll want to stay as close as possible path of perfection, It crosses the Pacific coast of Mexico and ends in eastern Canada. Fifteen US states will see the total eclipse.

There are online maps to check if you'll be anywhere near the trail. of NASA Map Depending on the location, it shows how many minutes of totality you'll have inside the path, and how much of the partial eclipse you'll see if outside it.

For viewers in Mexico and Canada, eclipse expert Xavier Jupiers Website Google Maps is overlaying the path of the eclipse, allowing you to zoom in on street-level details.

What can I use to plan a good shot?

Since there are many factors at play, including cloud cover and the sun's position in the sky, planning is key to getting the best picture.

There are plenty of smartphone apps for eclipse chasers. The American Astronomical Society It's compiled a list of useful ones for both iOS and Android devices, including its own Total app that shows your location on a map of the Total route.

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Solar eclipse timer Use your phone's GPS to play an audio countdown and highlight key moments. The app's maker recommends using a separate phone to take photos.

Eclipse Calculator 2 For Android devices, the camera uses the phone's camera to depict what the event looks like in the sky from your position, using lines overlaid on top of the image. For iPhone users, apps like SkyGuide and SkySafari have eclipse simulators. There are other iOS apps that use augmented reality to simulate the eclipse, but they are expensive and not yet on the community's list.

How to take the best eclipse photo?

Digital SLR cameras produce great photos. Their manual exposure controls and the ability to add accessories like zoom lenses and remote shutter buttons allow you to create great images.

Associated Press chief photographer Julio Cortes advises using a smaller aperture — f11 or f17 — to keep the focus „a little sharper.” When he captured the 2017 total solar eclipse, he used an ISO setting of 1250 and a shutter speed of 1/500.

The rest have smartphones.

NASA has published in detail guidelines For smartphone eclipse photography in 2017, „Smartphones were never designed for sun and moon photography.” That's because the wide-angle lenses on most devices don't allow you to capture close-up details. But new phones released since then with more sophisticated sensors, multiple lenses and image stabilization software offer a better chance.

Some experts recommend HDR, or High Dynamic Range mode, which takes a series of images in different light conditions and then blends them into a single shot—ideal for combining the darkest and brightest parts of the eclipse.

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But don't use flash. You can ruin the moment by ruining the view of those around you as the eyes adjust to the darkness.

What should I do to protect myself from the sun?

The American Astronomical Society recommends using a solar filter to protect cameras from intense sunlight and heat.

You can buy a filter that screws onto DSLR lenses, but it takes time to remove when full. Cortez made his own out of cardboard, tinted film and fasteners.

For smartphones, you can use a spare pair of eclipse glasses and place them over the lens or purchase a smartphone filter. There is no international standard, but the society's website has a list of models it considers safe. Make sure macro mode is not enabled.

If you plan to shoot for a long time, use a tripod. After mounting his camera on a tripod, Cortez uses a solar finder, which helps you find the sun without damaging your eyes or equipment.

While you're waiting for the big moment, Cortez suggests bringing a white towel to cover your gear after setting it up so it doesn't overheat.

Can you take a selfie with the eclipse?

Creating an eclipse video perfect for TikTok or Instagram is very tempting. Maybe you want to take a selfie video, narrating the cosmic ballet between the sun and the moon over your shoulder as it plays out on camera.

Be careful: While you may think your eyesight isn't at risk because you don't look at the sun, eye experts warn that your phone's screen can reflect harmful UV light. have warned.

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If you use a solar filter on a selfie camera, it will darken the image and you won't be exposed.


Need help figuring out your technical challenge? Write to us at [email protected] with your questions.

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