LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Photographers, both professional and amateur alike, are excited about capturing the moment the solar eclipse becomes a ring of fire, obscuring the sun.
According to Adam Gallardo, manager at B&C Camera in Las Vegas, it’s important that shooters not damage their equipment while trying to get that epic shot.
“How do I protect my camera sensor being totally destroyed by this thing,” Gallardo said.
He said concern about the safety of their device is the number one question asked by photographers who visit the store in the leadup to the solar eclipse.
“Digital cameras, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, even your phone […] all have sensors,” Gallardo said. “It’s really not a good idea to point them directly to the sun, especially during this solar eclipse without the proper equipment.”
A solar filter, Gallardo said, is essential to photograph a solar eclipse. The filter blocks out most of the sunlight. While that may seem counterintuitive when attempting to take photos of the sun, it could be the difference between a permanently damaged sensor and your camera being able to photograph for another day.
“It’s really dangerous to look at it directly with your eyes, so it’s going to be the same thing for your camera,” Gallardo said.
Gallardo had some other tips for eclipse photographers. He recommended using a tripod for stability, especially for those using their zoom features or telephoto lenses. Many photographers, Gallardo said, prefer to use remote and wireless triggers to snap photos of the eclipse, allowing them to stand farther away from their cameras so as not to jostle them while shooting.
NASA photographer Bill Ingalls suggests focusing on the event surrounding the eclipse to take truly memorable shots during the event.
“The real pictures are going to be of the people around you pointing, gawking, and watching it,” Ingalls said. “Those are going to be some great moments to capture to show the emotion of the whole thing.”
Eclipse chasers may find Ely, Nevada, the nearest opportunity to catch the so-called “ring of fire,” along its “path of annularity,” the less-than-150-mile-wide track illustrated on the map below.
Other tips from NASA experts include photographers being comfortable with their cameras ahead of the big moment and to practice, learning how to manually focus the camera for the sharpest shots possible.