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Can I photograph the eclipse with a phone?

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#1 AstroSSM

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 12:50 PM

Hello all!

 

My wife and I are planning to travel for the eclipse and I want to have something to take home apart from memories. We don't own any proper camera gear and I think it would be too late to buy some and learn how to use it before the eclipse, so I wanted to see if anyone has been able to do some photography with their phones. Obviously we will be limited and that is okay for us. I've done time lapses of sunrises on my phone before, but I'm not sure if that would work quite the same here, and I don't want to find out that it didn't work after the eclipse is over. I'd really like to get it right and take home something, even if it's just a video.

 

We did travel and view totality during the annular eclipse in October, but we didn't attempt any sort of video. I did try to jerry-rig my phone behind my solar glasses which the experience of trying that was better than the image quality that I got haha. Has anyone tried doing any sort of video with their phones before on such an event? Or would the same principles likely apply from my sunrise time lapses? My biggest concern is the exposure during totality and either seeing nothing or being totally blinded when not in totality.

 

If we can't make anything work, that's okay, we'll just enjoy our second eclipse of the year! But something to see is always welcome.


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#2 Cajundaddy

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 01:00 PM

Sure you can.  Adding 600mm of focal length would capture a lot more detail but a wide angle time lapse or composite can be very interesting.  With a solid tripod, intervalometer, and a solar filter for partial phases you have everything you need to do this.


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#3 SporadicGazer

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 02:33 PM

The real imagers will laugh, but check out "Solar Snap".  It's a package that includes two filters for cell phones, two eclipse glasses, (very) basic instructions, and a link to download an alternate camera app for your phone.

 

It's ~$13, I got both my kits from (Astronomy Mag's) My Science Shop, but I see it at Lunt's luntsolarsystems.com and pretty sure Amazon has had it too.  The kit is by American Paper Optics, i.e. eclipseglasses.com, if you can't find it anywhere else.

 

It's a nice little package, but the key thing is the camera app.  It is really simple, but works for the Sun.  Since many (most?) cell phone camera apps don't handle the high contrast, bright subject well for either exposure or focus it makes a huge difference for me.


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#4 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 04 February 2024 - 08:32 AM

Yes, you can, but IMHO it’s a waste of time.
Eclipse lasts a couple of minutes, better enjoy the show with your own eyes and let the observatories take the photos for you (we pay them with our taxes)
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#5 wizard234

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 05:42 AM

If you're looking for a "souvenir memory photo," you could take a picture of the dappled sunlight on a sidewalk under a tree during the partial eclipse phase. We don't realize it, but that dappled sunlight actually contains tiny images of the disk of the sun, hundreds of them. Each little "dapple" is an image of the sun that is rendered by the "pin hole camera effect" of the tiny gaps between the leaves that are letting through rays of sunlight. The reason we don't normally realize that these dapples contain images of the sun, is that there is nothing distinctive about them, BUT during a partial eclipse of the sun, you can distinctly see hundreds of little crescents. It's really cool. If you lay down a piece of white paper on the sidewalk, that will enhance the effect.

 

I don't think I can post links here (I joined just to post this), but you can find a photo of what this effect looks like by searching on "See the solar eclipse using nature’s pinhole camera, tree leaves".

 

And for some more tips from NPR on capturing the eclipse with you phone camera, search on "Simple tips to safely photograph the eclipse with your cellphone."



#6 rigel123

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 06:13 AM

Sure can.  iPhone for 2017 eclipse.

 

get.jpg?insecure


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#7 dcaponeii

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 10:01 AM

Apple has placed a block on iPhone's for the duration of the eclipse unless you unlock your camera with a $200 charge to your AppleID account.  Too bad about that one.  Glad I have a real camera instead.  hehe Just kidding of course.


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#8 gmiller123456

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 10:56 AM

I plan to just do a wide angle video of the crowd. I've seen others done the same way. The photos won't be breathtaking, but you can tell it's a total eclipse. During the partial phase, the sun will be blown out, so I plan to start about 1 min before totality and just let it do its thing.

But I also have several other setups for taking photos through longer lenses.

#9 fieldsweeper

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 11:24 AM

Sure can.  iPhone for 2017 eclipse.

 

get.jpg?insecure

would that be considered the "diamond ring?"


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#10 sah0620

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 11:44 AM

If you're looking for a "souvenir memory photo," you could take a picture of the dappled sunlight on a sidewalk under a tree during the partial eclipse phase. We don't realize it, but that dappled sunlight actually contains tiny images of the disk of the sun, hundreds of them. Each little "dapple" is an image of the sun that is rendered by the "pin hole camera effect" of the tiny gaps between the leaves that are letting through rays of sunlight. The reason we don't normally realize that these dapples contain images of the sun, is that there is nothing distinctive about them, BUT during a partial eclipse of the sun, you can distinctly see hundreds of little crescents. It's really cool. If you lay down a piece of white paper on the sidewalk, that will enhance the effect.

 

 

Interesting tip I've seen is bring a colander with you to hold up to the sun and then take a picture of it's shadow.


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#11 rigel123

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:05 PM

would that be considered the "diamond ring?"

Yes, it was at the end of totality.


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#12 djp183

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:11 PM

iPhone 6 through a cheap eyepiece on a cheap refractor in 2017:

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_4041.jpeg


#13 fieldsweeper

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:18 PM

iPhone 6 through a cheap eyepiece on a cheap refractor in 2017:

noice.



#14 jrussell

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:28 PM

Interesting tip I've seen is bring a colander with you to hold up to the sun and then take a picture of it's shadow.

A member of our local club also suggested soda crackers especially if there are kids around. They get a kick out of it and have a snack.


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#15 gmiller123456

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 05:00 PM

A member of our local club also suggested soda crackers especially if there are kids around. They get a kick out of it and have a snack.


Another option is to punch holes in alumnim foil to spell out your name.

#16 dcaponeii

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 08:50 PM

would that be considered the "diamond ring?"

Yes that's the Diamond Ring.  Nice image too.



#17 Cajundaddy

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 09:45 PM

Rigel123. ^^ That is how to photograph an eclipse with an iPhone.  Grabbed the diamond ring, excellent focus, exposure, and lovely foreground.   Nicely done!


Edited by Cajundaddy, 05 April 2024 - 09:46 PM.

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#18 rigel123

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Posted 07 April 2024 - 04:55 PM

Rigel123. ^^ That is how to photograph an eclipse with an iPhone.  Grabbed the diamond ring, excellent focus, exposure, and lovely foreground.   Nicely done!

Thanks, although mostly luck as I lifted the IPhone, and snapped the shot without much thought involved!  I had just caught the diamond ring on my Canon and quickly wanted to get a shot of the surroundings.  My first total solar eclipse and it could not have been more perfect!


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