On August 21st at approximately 10:19am (in Vancouver WA) there will be a solar eclipse! To see if the eclipse will be visible in your area click here and enter your city.
Use your phone to photograph the eclipse…. Below is how I plan on capturing the eclipse on my smartphone.
1. Practice First
Start taking some photos of the night sky or moon using the tips below so you feel prepared for shooting in a low light setting.
2. Protect Eyes
Run down to your local store or grab a pair of solar eclipse glasses off Amazon. I bought one for myself, and one to use over my lens. A solar filter will be helpful for toning down the sun as you photograph and can even allow for that ring of light to appear.
Use a tripod to stabilize the camera. Since it will be low light, shake and movement will easily cause your photos to be grainy or blurry. I would suggest having a tripod and mounting bracket for your phone to remove this risk and allow for flexibility in shooting, such as a timelapse video or burst.
Here is what I use with my phone set up. These are affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission.
You will need to be able and zoom in on the sky. In order to not have too much grain or blur consider a telephoto lens. Moment are superior lenses which I love to use. If you have a iPhone 7 plus you can try using the second camera telephoto. I have seen people use their binoculars (how I got the eagle below which was miles away high in a tree) or connect their phone to a telescope. Play around and see if you can’t rig something up yourself. Remember to place your solar eyeglasses close by and put them over your lens as a filter for the sun.
There are plenty of apps which allow me to have control over exposure and focus. I have three main apps for phone photography and night captures.
- NightCap– A recent addition to my phone and one I started using for night photography. Specially features for star travel and the like. Allows you to adjust exposure and focus.
- Filmborn – My all time favorite app that I use every single day. You will hear from me about this one all the time. It is built to teach you the basics of film photography from your phone; even giving you the specific look of a type of film such as Illford HP5. Allows for adjustment of all settings to customize your look. Can be used in app or after for editing. Check out their Facebook page to see all the users or head over to their Instagram. One of my shots was even featured on their twitter.
- Aviary– Used for the “extreme” look as it has filters that I like to play with if I want something highly contrasted or an overall hue change. This has a section to add text over images and straighten really easily. I do not use this on the daily, however, keep aviary on your phone to really bump up the contrast in photos.
6. Have fun and Enjoy the Eclipse
I should be able to get a pretty good photo with these tools and tips. If I can’t, I will still have experienced this once in a lifetime event! Crossing our fingers it will not be cloudy.
Here are some of the photos I took of the event. I was really happy t have the beach to myself as you can see from my “set up” photo below.
Also, you may have noticed, but as the moon passes over the sun, objects can become pinhole cameras and their shadows project tons of mini crescents. SO COOL! Those were honestly my favorite to capture.
Make sure to follow me on instagram (Link on bottom of home page) to stay current on what is going on.
Hi there! I use Android for my phone choice and noticed that some of your apps appear to be Apple only. Can you throw us a bone on what you recommend as replacements? For example, instead of Filmborn – you would recommend….?
Love the blog!
Hello! Thank you for pointing that out and reading the blog. Additional apps I love for editing are Aviary and Snapseed. Snapseed has lots of options for tweaking photos and full overlays. Have fun and let me know how they turn out. I would love a tag in instagram to see the results.
Question: are those two app what I would use to ‘film’ the event?
Yes! Absolutely! At least to do post processing for sure.