the north face boys jacket Experts teach photographers how to make solar filters for eclipse
Experts guided a group of photographers Saturday at Oregon State University in building solar filters to attach to their cameras, telescopes and binoculars on the day of the eclipse.
Just as eclipse viewers must wear glasses while watching the partial phases of the eclipse to protect from solar retinal damage, camera lenses must also be protected.
“You cannot look through a camera at the sun with your naked eye,” said Dr. Randall Milstein, Oregon Space Grant Consortium astronomer in residence, who led the filter making demonstration. “And you also cannot look at the sun through your camera with a pair of solar glasses on.”
The camera will magnify the sun’s light, burn through your glasses and cause eye damage, he said. Instead, the camera lens should be covered with a Mylar film during the duration of the eclipse. The only time the filter should be taken off is during totality, or when the moon is completely covering the sun’s bright face.
Eye damage caused from looking directly at the sun during the eclipse could be permanent, ophthalmologists say. and will last about one minute and 40 seconds.
Astrophotographer Tom Carrico also offered advice on how to successfully photograph the eclipse. He suggested that photographers use tripods and remote clickers. Without a remote, a photographer might bump the camera while taking a photo, upsetting the frame. He also offered advice on what ISO, aperture and shutter speed to use and how to capture the sun’s corona and its prominences.
Carrico said photographers should practice ahead of Aug. 21 so they’re prepared to set up their camera on a tripod and program it to take photos during the eclipse, while making only minor adjustments as the sun moves through the sky. This way they can enjoy the eclipse rather than fuss with their camera.
But, Carrico warned photographers not to become overwhelmed with capturing the eclipse. For those who have never seen an eclipse, Milstein recommended not taking pictures at all.
“Enjoy the eclipse,” he said. “It’s the most beautiful shared experience and beautiful natural phenomenon in the world. Don’t spend it looking through a piece of electronic equipment. Share it with those around you.”
To make a solar filter for your camera:
1. Cut two equal sized rings out of stiff cardboard. The inner diameter should match the full aperture of your camera’s lens, with the outer diameter about four inches larger.
2. Cover one side of each cardboard ring with double sided tape.
3. Cut a piece of Baader mylar film to cover the opening of the cardboard rings. Then drop that onto one of the rings and attach the rings together.
4. Take a two inch wide strip of flexible cardboard and wrap it around your camera lens and tape the ends together. Do that again to create a two layered sturdy cylinder.