Get camera-ready for the next solar eclipse
While it’s true there won’t be another complete and total solar eclipse until April 8, 2024, partial eclipses happen a great deal more frequently, and here in North America, you can expect a partial solar eclipse to occur about once or twice every 12–24 months depending on how the earth, sun, and moon align. And when this happens, if you want to capture a solar eclipse with your phone camera, you’ll need to be ready in advance.
Safety first when photographing solar eclipses
As you probably already know, staring at—or even quickly looking at—a solar eclipse can cause serious and permanent damage to your vision. For this reason, we encourage you to invest in a pair of solar eclipse sunglasses before you begin the process of learning how to photograph a solar eclipse with your phone. You can buy solar eclipse glasses just about anywhere, but some of the best are Eclipse Shades by Rainbow Symphony. We like these because they have a wrap-around design, helpful for keeping harmful rays out even if you turn or tilt your head. Additionally, these wraparound eclipse goggles are CE and ISO Certified for your protection and made in the USA. For just $9.95, you’re 100 percent covered—literally!
Setting up for solar snaps
Once you know which direction you’ll need to point your camera, you’ll need to ensure a steady hold, which can only be achieved with a tripod. These can be found just about anywhere, and you don’t need to spend any more than about $20–30 for a good one. Make sure you choose a tripod that you can attach your cell phone onto, ensuring the difference between tripods for iPhones versus Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy or Note.
Never zoom in on a solar eclipse!
If you zoom in on an eclipse, you will wind up with a grainy image that will wind up looking pixilated when you print the image or even review it on your phone. Instead, take your photos of the solar eclipse and crop out any part of the scene that’s unwanted, because with most phones, you’re getting a pretty high-quality photo that will be at least 1500 by 2000 pixels or more, leaving plenty of room to edit after the photo is taken.
Manage your expectations for photos of the sun or moon
Cell phones weren’t built to handle taking photos of solar or lunar eclipses, and standard phone lenses are pretty small, without the ability to handle large objects in the sky with great resolution. Instead, use your phone camera as a stepping stone to learn how to photograph these large natural objects, and if you find you really enjoy it, you can graduate to a real camera, which will allow you to take stunning lunar and solar eclipse photographs.
The best real camera for photographing a solar eclipse
Once you’re ready to move on to actual digital photography with a real camera, you’ll have a wide array of choices to consider. For most beginner photographers who wish to snap shots of natural images such as eclipses, we recommend the If you want to buy a package that offers absolutely everything you need for photographing nature, we recommend the Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera bundle now available on Amazon. This kit includes the brand new Canon EOS Rebel with EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 II Lens along with a variety of filters (including the one you need to photograph eclipses), two SanDisk 32 gig cards, a tripod, a time-release, a flash, and everything you need to keep your camera and lenses clean and photo-ready.
Remember, what you’re seeing is amazing!
Rather than just getting ready to take a bunch of pictures of an eclipse, take a second to take it all in IRL. While your photos will last a lifetime and are sure to be amazing with your new camera set-up, there’s nothing like the real thing. Invite a friend or partner to join you, grab a bottle of wine, and enjoy the actual view as you record the memories with your phone or your new Canon.