Guidelines for Photograph the Sun – Capturing the Pure Essence!
The sun is a flagrantly poor photographic target because of its extreme brightness and constant emissions of damaging ultraviolet and infrared radiation. But if you have the right equipment, the photograph the sun can be a challenging and rewarding subject.
The most important thing about viewing and shooting the sun is eye-safety. You don’t see the sun through any optical instrument without proper filtration. If you are not careful, it would permanent damage to your eye.
Here is the perfect guide for photographing the sun.
Basic Solar Photography Gear
Solar Viewing Glasses
While aiming your camera at the bright sun, you will need a pair of solar viewing glass. Photographing the sun you will need to use some special filter. Using a large size lens or telescope, it will give good details and a tracking mount is helpful.
Tripod will help you to get the sharpest possible image. If you filter with a solar filter, your shutter speeds will be slower. With the super-telephoto focal length lens, telescope or spotting scope, you will get extra stability of a tripod.
Remote Shutter Release
A remote shutter release will help you to reduce the vibrations when firing your camera on a tripod.
One of the popular ways to photograph the sun and solar eclipses are Digiscoping. Most telescopes and spotting scopes enable cameras to be affixed to the scopes through adapters.
The major benefit of digiscoping is that you can achieve the high levels of magnification without much of the expenses of an exotic photographic telephoto lens.
When pointing camera at sun, you will need a solar filter for your camera and lens. You should always prefer a properly designed filter like neutral density filters. This is because these filters are only designed for viewing the sun and is designed not only to dim the sunlight but also protect your eyes and equipment from ultraviolet and indicated radiation.
Mylar While-light Solar filters come in various sizes and shapes. It looks like around and has tether holes to secure to your camera and lens. Some people using sheets of #14 welder’s glass which mount and or held in front of the camera.
The intermediate filter is designed for solar imaging which mounts between your camera and lens.
When photographing the sun, you will determine the camera and exposure settings. There are several variables like filter type and strength, focal length, the brightness of the sun and time of the year.
- Shutter Speed
The sun is very far away. When shooting the sun, you will want a quick shutter to freeze the action and neglect the motion blur. While using tripod-mounted super telephoto lenses, you should keep your shutter period as short as possible.
You have to able to photograph the sun at your camera’s native ISO setting. The ISO setting is usually around ISO 100 or ISO 200 which depends on your manufacturer and your camera model. Reduce the frame movement you need to bump up your ISO that depends on the lens and filter.
Using various apertures will give a variety of looks to choose from when you are editing. After setting your ISO and shutter speed, you have to adjust your aperture to control exposure. Using the solar filter, the sun will be the only thing visible in the frame, so you people use spot metering and keep your lens aperture in the sweet spot and then the sun in the center of the frame.
The process of Photograph the Sun
Photographing the sun is the simplest process but the execution will be a challenged one.
Gear up – check tripod, camera, lens, solar filter, remote release.
If you are working at long focal lengths and high magnification, aiming into the sky at a relatively small target is difficult. With the camera aimed at the sun, you have to adjust your aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focus. Now, it is time to start shooting. Discharge a few frames and use image-stacking software to blend more detailed images.
If you point a camera at the sun, does it damage the camera?
Every photographer asks “will the sun damage my camera?” while they photography the sun
Don’t worry! It depends on the camera and the situation. The important reason to be careful when photographing a camera at the sun is that the camera lens can act as a magnifying glass and focus the sun rays into a small area on the shutter of the camera. If you place it in a long enough, it can burn a hole in the shutter or aperture of the lens itself.
So, you don’t keep it in the same position for a long period of time. If you are using digital or video cameras, the sensor is overloaded and the sun causes some blooming problems. If you use older cameras, it can cause permanent damage. Otherwise, if using a newer camera, there is only temporary.
Don’t focus the sun with your naked eyes. If you do, permanent damage to your eyesight and even blindness may happen. While viewing the sun, you should wear a solar viewing glass.
As well as don’t point a camera at the sun unless the optics are fitted with a certified solar filter. Optics can magnify the intensity and brightness of sunlight and can cause damage to your equipment.
Don’t look at the sun through the viewfinder of a rangefinder camera, because the optical viewfinder will not protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging light.
Use only live view or an electronic viewfinder and don’t point an unfiltered digital camera at the sun because of the possibility of damaging the sensor with concentrated, unfiltered sunlight.
Take perfect photos of the sun without damaging you and your camera and lens. Taking pictures of the sun at any time with these guidelines and move around and take lot of pictures.