Chris Marquardt on Photography

Episode 1403 (58:00)

Gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) is a common malady with photographers who think that upgrading their gear or getting more gear will make them better photographers. It's not really the case, usually. But Chris says that getting better gear can help by expanding the toolset you can use to take pictures. As long as you actually use them. But often, a trip will trigger GAS in them.

Today's topic is shooting a solar eclipse. There's an eclipse coming in a few weeks (Aug. 21) and Chris has a few tips on how to shoot them:

1) NEVER LOOK INTO THE SUN! Even with a partial eclipse, it can damage your eyesight. The only time you can look is during a full eclipse and the window is very short for that. To properly look at an eclipse, look with welding glasses.
2) You'll also need a filter on your lens. Astronomy websites sell them, as does B&H. They're screw on filters or foil based filters.
3) Shoot at a long focal length at 800-1000 mm. cropped, 1500mm full frame. An extender can help if you don't have a large enough lens.
4) Low ISO.
5) Bracket your shutter speeds to find what the best is. Most DSLRs have a bracketing feature that takes three different shots at various f stops or they use aperture compensation.
6) Use manual focus, which is a challenge if you're not supposed to look at the sun. Check live view only.

When the corona comes at full eclipse, you can take the filter off. But you have to be fast with it. And practice. How? You can shoot the sun itself. The next total eclipse is in 2024.