Do you have a solar filter?

Are you ready for the Solar Eclipse?

What you are seeing here is not the latest in mirror technology. It is actually a solar filter. What is a solar filter you ask? It is a filter specially designed to allow you to take photos of sunspots and eclipses. It is an almost opaque filter that is required so you do not damage the sensor in your camera.

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CAUTION: Never look at the sun, either directly or through a camera lens, without a professionally made protective filter installed that completely covers the front of the camera lens, or permanent eye damage could result.

Now that that is out of the way and we are all being safe we can talk about settings. If you have tried photographing the moon before then you will be familiar with what you are looking for. You will want to use a tripod, there is no way that you will get a sharp picture without one. You will also want to use a telephoto lens. Depending on how large you want the sun to be, anywhere from 300mm – 600mm will work. You will want your camera on full manual. If you have one that lets you see your exposure on the back screen as you change settings, all the better.

My first shots where really overexposed (I was looking at the brightest ball of light in the sky, no wonder). But as I dialed in my settings I found that 1/320 at f8 and ISO of 64 got me really good detail.

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600mm ISO 64, 1/320 at f22, Exposure compensation at -5 (was in Aperture mode for this shot)

No those are dust particles on your computer screen or my sensor. Those small grey areas are sunspots.

Another technique you can try is stacking multiple exposures to help get more detail. Some cameras have this built in, otherwise you will need a software like photoshop to edit the photos.

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600mm ISO 64, 1/320 at f8

Above is the original photo, below is a cropped section of that photo for more detail.

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Stop by CCC and get your filter for the eclipse and see if you can get a quick shot while at the store. Let us know your results.

Stay tuned for more blogs about the upcoming eclipse!