The Solar Snap app is just one way to take photos of the April 8 eclipse | Trending Viral hub


With the Total solar eclipse There’s just over a week left and time is running out to find both. eye protection and camera lens protection. But there is a device and app combination that could solve that problem in one fell swoop.

sun snap is designed to help protect your eyes when viewing a solar eclipse, as well as taking photographs of the eclipse while it occurs. The package comes with a Solar Snap camera filter that attaches to the back of a iPhone either Android phone, along with solar eclipse glasses to protect your eyesight during the event.

After connecting the filter to your phone, you can use the free Solar Snap Eclipse app to zoom in on the eclipse, adjust exposure and other camera settings, and ultimately capture photos of an eclipse.

Solar Snap was founded by Douglas Duncan, a former Hubble Space Telescope astronomer, who wanted to take better pictures of a solar eclipse using only a phone camera. However, when Duncan, who currently serves as a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado and was director of the university’s Fiske Planetarium, looked for a solution, he couldn’t find it.

“In recent eclipses, I saw a lot of people trying to take souvenir photos with their phones, but without success,” Duncan told me. “Something had to be done! I spent the pandemic inventing and testing Solar Snap.”

Here’s what you need to know about the app, as well as some general tips for photographing the eclipse.

Eclipse photo taken with Solar Snap

This is one of Duncan’s composite images of the 2017 solar eclipse.

David Duncan

Solar Snap app

Since Solar Snap has a very specific purpose, it is not necessarily useful on a day-to-day basis. However, it should be especially useful on April 8, when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and causes a Total solar eclipse about North America. He Great American Eclipseas it is known, will reach the Mexican Pacific coast at 2:07 pm ET on April 8 and then traverse from Texas to Maine before leaving the east coast of North America at 3:35 pm ET.

As exciting (and rare: the next total solar eclipse over North America won’t occur until 2044), solar eclipses come with their fair share of risks. During the eclipse, and especially just before and after totality, or when the moon completely covers the sun, watch the eclipse without protective eye equipment can cause serious eye damage. You can similarly suffer significant eye damage if you view the eclipse through binoculars, telescopes, or, yes, the lens of a camera or smartphone without a filter.

Solar Snap aims to solve that problem by providing filters for both the camera and eyes, allowing you to observe the eclipse and take photos without worrying about eye safety. And with its app settings designed to optimize image quality, it promises to deliver beautiful views of the eclipse for you to enjoy long after it’s over.

“I built the automation into Solar Snap,” Duncan said. “If you put your phone on a tripod, at the beginning of totality, you can remove the filter (don’t hit the phone!), press the ‘totality’ button and it will take pictures throughout totality, while you watch the eclipse.”

The $19 Solar Snap kit is Available now. The kit comes with two pairs of phone filters and goggles, along with two sets of Velcro to attach the filter to a phone. The Solar Snap app is available on both Apple App Store and in Android app markets like Google Play.

General Eclipse Photography Tips reports that more 44 million people They will experience totality during the April 8 eclipse, and most of them will likely try to capture a photo or two. Here are some tips.

  • Whether you’re looking for the fancy camera equipment or keeping it simple, practice your setup before eclipse day. If something goes wrong or you forget an accessory you needed, you won’t want to know about it once the eclipse has already started. Depending on where you watch it, it only lasts about 3-5 minutes. NASA suggests practicing for photographing the moon.
  • You’ll probably want to get a certified solar filter to attach to your camera. It will protect your eyes and allow you to take photos while viewing the eclipse through your lens.
  • The best photographs will be taken with DSLR cameras, or what us old-timers used to simply call “cameras.” But let’s be real: many of us will simply do the best we can with our phone cameras. NASA suggests you don’t have autofocus on your phone; You’ll have to do this manually, by tapping the screen, holding your finger on the moon to lock focus, and then dragging your finger up and down to adjust the exposure.
  • You may also want to purchase an inexpensive zoom lens that connects directly to your smartphone camera. “Digital zoom will not work to create a clear, magnified image,” NASA warns.
  • Remember, however, that you don’t want to be too busy taking photos of the eclipse and forget to enjoy the experience itself. After all, there are There won’t be another chance until 2044..

CNET’s Gael Cooper contributed to this article.


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