Photograph the Solar Eclipse: Can Your Smartphone Camera Do the Trick?

Ever seen the amazing shots phone cameras pull off these days? They’re practically little geniuses in your pocket! 

So, can your smartphone really capture the solar eclipse? Absolutely!

However, this comes with challenges such as handling the sun’s intense brightness, addressing focus issues, and balancing light and shadow to unveil the celestial details.

But, with a few tricks and some handy accessories, you’re ready to snap away!

Ready to elevate your photos from “Oh, cool!” to “Wow, did you really take that with your phone?!” Let’s get the gear and make every shot count!

Essential Equipment for Solar Eclipse Photography

Solar Filters

Think of them as sunglasses for your camera. They protect the sensor from the sun’s glare, avoiding pixelated shots. Clip-on solar filters are available and easy to attach to your camera lens. 

Companies like SafeShot offer affordable and user-friendly options.


A tripod is your best friend when it comes to stability. It eliminates shaky hands, ensuring crisp, clear shots. It’s especially crucial when capturing the dynamic range of a solar eclipse, where every detail matters!

Looking for recommendations? Consider the compact and lightweight Joby GripTight ONE GP Stand or the durable Manfrotto PIXI.

External Lenses

Telephoto Lenses

A telephoto lens lets you zoom in on the sun and moon without losing quality.

Brands like Moment and Olloclip offer clip-on lenses that transform your phone into a zoom camera. 

Preparing for the Shoot

Scouting Locations

Think of location as your stage. It transforms a good shot into an unforgettable one! 

What’s on the checklist? Clear skies – non-negotiable. Low light pollution – lets the stars shine! And composition – what’s in the frame? Silhouetted trees? A reflective lake? It’s your call!

Timing Considerations

Know the phases – partial, total, annular – and plan your shots around them. 

The partial phase offers a play of light and shadow. Totality? It’s the main act, with the corona taking center stage. 

And the annular phase presents the “ring of fire” spectacle! Note the timings, be ready for every moment.

Quick Tip: When totality begins, you can remove the filter and capture the moment as you normally would with your smartphone. But remember to put the solar glasses and filters back on as the sun reappears!

Testing Equipment

Before the big day, ensure your gear is ready. Check for scratches, secure the fit, and you’re all good.

Familiarize yourself with your settings and apps, play around with manual controls.

Quick Tip: Do a trial run. Pick a sunny day, gear up, and practice shooting the sun. It’s your rehearsal, smoothing out any hiccups and boosting your confidence.

Post-Processing and Editing

Adjusting Exposure and Contrast

This is where your image gets its vibe! Adjusting exposure and contrast is like fine-tuning the stage lights.

Enhancing Details

Zoom in on the details, make the textures pop. It’s your final touch, defining every line and curve.

Combining Multiple Shots for Dynamic Range

Combine shots to capture the full dynamic range. 

Recommended Editing Apps for Phones

For editing on your phone, apps like Lightroom and Snapseed are your go-to.

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