Here’s how you can capture a solar eclipse from your smartphone

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 14, 2017, 7:44 pm IST
Updated Aug 14, 2017, 7:44 pm IST
Some simple tweaks and additions can make your humble smartphone camera into a professional eclipse-capturing specialist.
Smartphones can achieve a commendable solar eclipse shot with certain tweaks and modifications. (photo: abcnews)
 Smartphones can achieve a commendable solar eclipse shot with certain tweaks and modifications. (photo: abcnews)

A solar eclipse is a great phenomenon to observe, especially the full eclipses. Luckily, earthlings will be experiencing a full solar eclipse in 2017 on August 21. Unluckily, it’s only visible to certain countries in the northern hemisphere, eliminating India from witnessing this mega celestial phenomenon. However, if you are planning to visit the 'lucky' countries to experience the full solar eclipse, you would surely want to capture the spectacular sight of the sun being overshadowed by the moon, especially during the corona.

DSLR owners will be at home with an advanced system consisting of bigger image sensors and an array of controls at disposal. But, if you want to get the perfect eclipse shot from your smartphone with inferior sensors, then you can follow some of these steps listed below:

 

Choose the smartphone from your wardrobe with the best camera

Samsung galaxy s8

This may be the most obvious thing to do when you intend to do photography with your smartphone. However, knowing that a smartphone with a larger aperture and image sensor will assure you that you have the best of mobile camera technology accompanying you to capture the corona perfectly. Smartphones like the iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11 and other flagships will be your best bet.

Make the right settings in your camera app

Samsung Galaxy S8

Despite having a robust hardware like bigger image sensor and larger aperture abilities, it is finally the software that has to process the image to your liking. Therefore you make sure that all the parameters of the camera are set to the just the right one. Forget the auto mode; manual mode is the only mode that can get you the perfect shot.

 

  • Turn off the flash as well as the autofocus as these can ruin your shot while the eclipse is happening.
  • Ensure that the exposure is set to the adequate value whereas the aperture value set to the lowest. This will let the perfect amount of light to reach the sensor, which is crucial during an eclipse.
  • Hardware additions can help your phone achieve better results

It’s never bad to help the humble smartphone camera with some additions to help it achieve an uphill task. Now, unlike a DSLR camera, there are fewer hardware enhancements. Still below are some simple accessories to get the best shot of a solar eclipse.

 

Strap-on lenses

These are the cheapest modifications you can make on your smartphone’s camera without tampering with phone’s hardware. Available for less than Rs 500, getting one of these can help you achieve higher zoom levels, which is amazing if you want to capture the finer details during the corona stage.

Tripod

Nobody likes to see hazy photos of a full solar eclipse. With extremely delicate camera settings applied, the slightest of hand vibrations can make the corona an example of a light trail. Tripods are the best ways to eliminate vibrations and therefore achieve the clearest photographs.

 

Lens filter

Whether it’s a DSLR camera sensor or the human eye, no image capturing unit in the known universe can sustain the ultra bright radiations of the sun, even when it’s eclipsed by the moon. Therefore, it is advisable to put lens filters on your smartphone’s camera to save the little sensor from the harsh radiations of the sun.

These are some of the steps that you can try to get the perfect the solar eclipse shot. Little tweaks and additions to your smartphone’s camera can help you achieve respectable shots of a solar eclipse. However, while you are busy prepping your phone for the solar eclipse, don’t forget to prepare your eyes for protection from the harmful sun radiations.

 

(with inputs from The Telegraph)

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