How to capture the solar eclipse with a smartphone - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

How to capture the solar eclipse with a smartphone

Will you be in position to see this? Maybe, maybe not. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Will you be in position to see this? Maybe, maybe not. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(RNN) – Most people should know by now that you should by no means watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse with unprotected eyes.

That doesn’t stop people from wanting to have the best visual experience of the event.

Some want to take pictures of the eclipse with their smartphones, but don’t know if it’s safe or not.

That may depend on your phone.

Many photographers say that the small lens isn’t big enough to get damaging light from the sun if you set exposures for short times, but others admit that newer smartphones have bigger, faster lenses.

NASA says it is mostly safe to take photos of the eclipse with a smartphone, with a few precautions.

Most important, you should protect your own eyes, so wear solar glasses.

You should never point your smartphone camera at the un-eclipsed sun without putting a filter over the lens, according to NASA.

You will also need a telephoto lens for the smartphone if you want to take magnified pictures of the eclipse. A smartphone tripod adapter is also necessary for good quality pictures by stabilizing the camera.

Without a telephoto lens, your smartphone photos of the eclipse will just look like the sky with a dot.

Before the eclipse, you should practice with your smartphone, according to NASA and USA Today.

It's good to start by photographing the full moon with your phones to get a view of what it will look like.

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