RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We’ve heard it time and time again, “don’t stare directly at the sun.” This same saying applies to our cameras.
Charles Machuga works at Southeastern Camera in Raleigh and says he got interested in astronomy photography when he started working at the store over four years ago.
When thinking about photographing this year’s solar eclipse he said, “The biggest thing is just use a little common sense, you don’t want to play around with damaging your vision.”
We’ve all seen the sunglasses, which are an inexpensive way to see the solar eclipse while protecting your eyes. You can also use them to protect your phone by holding the shaded lens over your actual camera lens.
Some other options may include a neutral density solar filter for your camera or if you have a lunar telescope, you could purchase a glass filter which will allow you to look directly at the sun.
“You want to get a filter specifically designed for solar imaging, it cuts out a greater amount of light,” Machuga said.
He also said do not use the view finder on your camera during the eclipse, this will not protect your eyes from the sun’s rays. Instead, use an LCD screen if your camera has one.
Machuga recommends practicing with your camera before the big day saying, “Don’t get caught up in trying to get the perfect image because, especially as photographers, we’re kind of always chasing that anyway…just experience it, don’t forget to experience it.”
“The most important thing is, please make sure you have a memory card in the camera, that is the number one rule,” he said.
The eclipse is expected to last for several hours from start to finish, so the experts also recommend having several batteries charged for your camera.