Capturing the Total Solar Eclipse with Your Smartphone: A Comprehensive Guide

Capturing the Total Solar Eclipse with Your Smartphone: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn how to safely photograph the upcoming total solar eclipse using your smartphone without risking damage to your device or eyes, featuring expert tips and protective measures.


The anticipation for next month’s total solar eclipse is palpable, and capturing this celestial event with a smartphone is within everyone’s reach. However, experts stress the importance of using eclipse glasses or solar filters to protect both your eyes and your phone’s camera from damage.

Capturing the Total Solar Eclipse with Your Smartphone: A Comprehensive Guide

Essential Gear for Eclipse Photography:

While professional photography equipment might seem necessary for such a rare event, capturing the total solar eclipse with a smartphone is entirely feasible. The key is to protect your device and your vision with the proper accessories, such as solar filters or eclipse glasses.

Protecting Your Device and Eyes:

  • Photographer’s Journey: Philippe Moussette, a seasoned astronomy photographer, plans to capture the eclipse in Dallas, Texas, with his high-end camera gear. His journey underscores the lengths to which professionals will go for the perfect shot, yet also highlights that with simple precautions, amateurs can safely capture the event with a smartphone.
  • Solar Filters: Just as eclipse glasses are crucial for viewing the eclipse safely, a solar filter is essential for protecting your phone’s camera lens from the intense sunlight.

Capturing the Eclipse:

  • Partial vs. Total Eclipse: During the partial phases of the eclipse, it’s vital to use a solar filter over your phone’s camera lens. However, during the totality phase, when the moon completely covers the sun, you can remove the filter to capture the stunning corona without risking damage.
  • Path of Totality: The total eclipse will be visible along a specific path from Texas to Newfoundland. Duration of totality will vary by location, with some areas experiencing darkness for up to four and a half minutes.

Tips for Successful Eclipse Photography:

  • Use Eclipse Glasses for Your Phone: An easy method to protect your phone is to cover the camera lens with eclipse glasses. For those willing to invest a bit more, larger solar filters and tripods can help capture clearer images.
  • Focus on the Human Experience: Often, the most memorable eclipse photos capture the reactions and activities of people experiencing the event. Consider focusing on these moments rather than just the eclipse itself.


Photographing the total solar eclipse with a smartphone is a fantastic way to engage with this rare astronomical event. By taking the necessary precautions to protect your eyes and device, you can capture stunning images of the eclipse without professional equipment. Remember, while capturing the moment is exciting, experiencing the eclipse firsthand is truly unparalleled.


Can I photograph the solar eclipse with my smartphone?

Yes, you can photograph the eclipse with your smartphone, but you must use solar filters or eclipse glasses to protect your phone’s camera and your eyes.

Do I need professional photography equipment to capture the eclipse?

No, professional equipment isn’t necessary, but using solar filters or eclipse glasses for protection is crucial.

How can I protect my smartphone’s camera during the eclipse?

Cover the camera lens with a solar filter or the lens of eclipse glasses to prevent damage from the sun’s intense rays.

Is it safe to remove the solar filter at any point during the eclipse?

You can safely remove the solar filter only during the totality phase when the moon completely covers the sun, revealing the corona.

What is the path of totality?

The path of totality is the narrow strip where the total solar eclipse is visible, stretching from Texas to Newfoundland for this event.

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