Skip to main content

How to photograph April’s solar eclipse, according to Nikon

Solar Eclipse Photography Tips from Nikon | Best Camera Settings | 2024 Solar Eclipse Guide

Excitement is building for next month’s total solar eclipse that will see the moon’s shadow fall across a large part of the U.S., from Maine in the northeast all the way to Texas in the south.

Folks who make their way to the best viewing spots are reminded to protect their eyes by using specially designed solar specs or other safe viewing devices when witnessing the celestial event on April 8. Others may want to photograph the moment the moon comes directly between our planet and the sun (solar specs are still required!), and Nikon shared a video on Thursday offering some handy tips on how to do just that.

Nikon ambassador Mike Mezeul II highlights the different settings you might want to use when photographing the coming total solar eclipse. The tips are more for standalone cameras than smartphones or basic point-and-shoots, and while the video focuses on Nikon camera settings, they should look familiar to those with non-Nikon cameras, too.

He also notes how the eclipse will go through various phases, including the diamond ring effect, where a tiny part of the sun breaks through from behind the moon to create such an effect, and totality, where the moon briefly comes directly between Earth and the sun.

Preparations for the shoot include getting a decent solar filter for your camera, which reduces the sun’s visible and infrared energy by a factor of around 100,000.

Other tips include shooting in RAW so that you can pull out more detail later on when you edit your images, though Mezeul adds that if you’ve only ever shot with JPGs, then stick with that for now. With the movement of the Earth and the moon, and possibly windy conditions, a fast shutter speed is recommended, too. A low ISO for relatively noiseless images, and an aperture of around f8 should also be possible.

Mezuel explains how you will need to make some quick adjustments between the diamond ring effect and totality, including removing your solar filter. A process known as bracketing, where the camera captures the same scene at different settings for a final image with more dynamic range, is recommended for totality, so if you’re not familiar with it then it’s worth learning more about it before April 8.

Indeed, Mezuel recommends practicing the entire routine before the big day so that you won’t be left panicking during the special event. After all, you want to enjoy it!

NASA also offers some useful information about April’s total eclipse, a phenomenon that will not occur again in the U.S. until 2044.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Warby Parker offering free eclipse specs for April’s celestial event
A solar eclipse.

Quick to spot an opportunity, eyewear company Warby Parker has announced it will be handing out free eclipse glasses for safe viewing of April’s highly anticipated celestial event.

“An astronomical phenomenon is coming on April 8 -- the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044 -- and whether you’re getting a full view or a partial peek, we’re here to help you see it,” Warby Parker said in a message on its website, adding, “As avid supporters of sharp vision, we want to make sure you have everything you need to safely witness this celestial spectacle.”

Read more
Stunning image shows annular solar eclipse from a million miles away
The annular solar eclipse in October 2023 viewed by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera on board the Deep Space Climate Observatory.

Folks across parts of the U.S. were treated to the spectacular sight of an annular solar eclipse last Saturday, where the Earth, moon, and sun align in a way that creates a lunar shadow and a so-called “ring of fire.”

Offering another perspective, NASA on Tuesday shared a remarkable image (top) of the same celestial event as seen from a million miles away.

Read more
Watch NASA video showing Saturday’s stunning ‘ring of fire’ eclipse
The annular solar eclipse in October 2023.

Huge crowds gathered across parts of the Americas on Saturday to witness the stunning phenomenon of an annular solar eclipse.

An "annular" eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth at a distance where, when viewed from Earth, it doesn’t completely obscure the sun. The result is a large, bright ring in the sky, commonly called the "ring of fire.”

Read more