18/08/2017

Get ready for the Solar Eclipse: how, when and why to watch?

Get ready for the Solar Eclipse: how, when and why to watch?

Today our excitement is built around Total Solar Eclipse – a rare divine event which happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth and the moon slowly covers the sun until peak moment leaving only the ring of light burning on the edges. Doesn’t this sound fascinating?

This year the “path of totality” crosses 11 US states from west to east coast in the middle of the country on Monday the 21st of August. However, you’ll be able to see a partial solar eclipse from the UK when the Moon covers 4% of the Sun. For the best views and photos get familiar with UK Eclipse time schedule below.

We know what you’re thinking and that’s why prepared a quick rundown of tips to witness and capture the best of the partial solar eclipse.

How to watch the Solar Eclipse?

Witnessing such a rare, worth-watching event, even though it’s only partial eclipse for Britons, you will be probably eager to snap this awesomeness on your smartphone camera. However, as safety is always first, let us tell you what you need to know before staring at the Sun.

To start with, make sure you equip yourself and your loved ones with special protective glasses as looking with bare eyes can be risky and cause temporary or permanent eye sight damage. Normal sunglasses or DIY won’t be good enough because glasses need to have a special solar filter and be granted international safety standard ISO 12312-2. The list of trusted vendors can be accessed here.

Currently, 5 pairs of protective eclipse glasses with ISO standard by Education Harbour are availa ble for £8.99.

How to capture this beauty?

Now let’s move on how to set up your phone camera to make the most of this spectacle. We won’t advise you to get a new phone with advanced camera solely for this purpose, but some of the models have decent cameras enough to make stunning pictures.

If you’re the owner of iPhone 7 Plus or Android phones such as the Google Pixel, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the One Plus 5, you have one of the best smartphone cameras available on the market. Here are few steps to get you ready:

  • Autofocus and flash: these need to be turned off because these features will spoil dark vision and ruin the shot you’ve been working hard on.
  • Lower Exposure: you need to control how much light reaches your camera lens, this can be done by minimising exposure settings. On iOS and Android, you will need to open the camera app where sun icon will appear next to focus area. Drag the sun icon down to reduce exposure. On some Android phones, Exposure Value (EV) can be found in Pro Mode settings.
  • Time-lapse feature: on iOS 8 and above you can record video at a very low frame enabling you to capture the movement of the moon. There are customised ones available to install on Android phone.
  • Attach a camera filter: to get a clear, crisp image of the Sun and protect your camera lens, NASA advises covering your camera with eclipse glasses.
  • Zoom In: you will need additional zoom capabilities as this feature is limited on smartphone cameras and using zoom lens attachment will provide 12x-18x zoom level.
  • Get a tripod: this little helper will free your hands holding your smartphone camera. You can place it on any surface or attach it to your backpack and enjoy the solar eclipse hands-free with your own eyes. Have a look at this Amazon offer .

Wrap up

We recommend you to practice with your camera settings on the moon sometime this weekend before snapping the solar eclipse. Keep fingers crossed not to have our usual cloudy skies and we are looking forward to see your advanced snaps on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Antonia

Antonia

See more posts by Antonia

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