Planning on capturing the eclipse with your smart phone? Don't expect epic pics

Professional photographer offers advice
Posted at 1:47 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 17:09:42-04

Professional photographer Michael Blitch is used to capturing the grandeur of Gasparilla in Tampa, Independence Day festivities over Tampa Bay and drone views of the twinkling city at night, but the upcoming solar eclipse is on another level. 

"This is my first ever solar eclipse," he said. "I'm heading to South Carolina so I can be in the area of full, total coverage." 

Blitch said even his professional-grade camera needs a special set-up to shoot the eclipse. "99% of the light is being blocked out," he said. He purchased a special filter months ago that he said is now sold-out or at a premium. 

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Many other people will use their cell phone to try and photograph the solar eclipse. "They're going to be able to handle the exposure," he said. 

Blitch demonstrated that placing solar eclipse glasses over the cell phone camera lens will help you get a better photograph, but only slightly. "Unfortunately, these cameras on these phones aren't designed to shoot something this bright," he said. 

Blitch also suggested using a white piece of poster board, cardboard, aluminum foil and a pin hole to make a viewing station. He said this will allow you to view the shapes as the moon blocks the sun. "Whenever the moon goes across, you'll see the crescent shape and it might be something interesting to photograph," he said.