Solar Eclipse – August 21st

The next total solar eclipse will occur on August 21st 2017. The path of totality is scheduled to be seen from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Those who are located outside of this path of totality will be able to see portions of the eclipse, in a partial eclipse, with the moon covering a section of the sun’s disk. 

Path of totality, courtesy of NASA

Though New Jersey is not within the zone of totality, we are still located within the zone for a partial eclipse. At the height of the eclipse here, we should see the sun covered approximately 73%. The best time to look out for the eclipse in New Jersey is going to be around 2:45 pm. 

Regardless of a partial eclipse or not, it is extremely important to use eye protection when viewing the eclipse. Looking at the sun at anytime can damage your eyes, especially during an eclipse. Special glasses are produced for the solar eclipse, and should be ISO certified to ensure your safety when viewing this special sight. The only time it is safe to view the sun without glasses is at totality, when the moon completely covers the sun’s disk (this will not occur in New Jersey).

 

Some Tips to Help Photograph the Solar Eclipse

  • Use a telephoto/zoom lens and a tele-converter
  • Never look at the sun through your camera’s lens without proper eye protection
  • Use a solar filter for safe viewing at all times UNLESS the eclipse is at totality
  • You want a focal length under 2000mm on a full frame camera, or 1300mm on a crop sensor (this is to ensure you get the entire sun within your shot)
  • Get a sturdy tripod, and manually focus the camera to infinity
  • Practice, take a ‘test’ shot on a day before the eclipse, shoot various shutter speeds with a fixed aperture (between f/8 and f/16), and look for optimal exposures
  • Show what the solar eclipse does to the environment, find shadows, natural pinholes, and try some wide angle shots

More tips can be found online, like on Nikon’s website here

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