Thursday, 18 April 2024

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The total solar eclipse is about to arrive. Here’s how to use apps to track and photograph it

The total solar eclipse is about to arrive. Here’s how to use apps to track and photograph it

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As the moon passes in front of the sun, plunging a swath of North America into a few minutes of darkness, throngs will take pictures or videos of the moment. But powerful solar rays and drastic changes in lighting pose unique challenges in catching that perfect image.

Here are some pointers on how to get the best shot:

How can I find the best place to capture the eclipse?

First, get in the right position. You’ll want to be as close as possible to the path of totality, which passes over Mexico’s Pacific coast and ends in eastern Canada. Fifteen U.S. states get to see the full eclipse.

There are online maps to check if you’ll be anywhere near the path. NASA’s map shows how many minutes of totality there will be if you’re inside the path depending on location, and how much of a partial eclipse you’ll see if you’re outside of it.

For spectators in Mexico and Canada, eclipse expert Xavier Jubier’s website overlays the eclipse’s path on Google Maps, which allows zooming into street level detail.

What can I use to plan a good shot?

With so many factors in play including cloud cover and the sun’s position in the sky, planning is key to getting the best image.

There are a host of smartphone apps for eclipse chasers. The American Astronomical Society has compiled a list of useful ones for both iOS and Android devices, including its own Totality app that shows your location on a map of the totality path.

The Solar Eclipse Timer uses your phone’s GPS to play an audio countdown to the moment of totality and highlights key moments. The app’s maker advises using a separate phone for taking photos.

Eclipse Calculator 2 for Android devices uses the phone’s camera to depict how the event will look in the sky from your position, using lines overlaid on top of the camera image. For iPhone users, apps like Sky Guide and SkySafari have eclipse simulators. There are other iOS apps that use augmented reality to simulate the eclipse, but they’re pricier and not yet on the society’s list.

How can I take a great photo of the eclipse?

Digital SLR cameras will produce the best photos. Their manual exposure controls and ability to add zoom lenses and accessories like remote shutter buttons will let you make great pictures.

Associated Press chief photographer Julio Cortez advises using a smaller aperture — f11 or f17 — to keep the focus “a little bit sharper.” When he shot the 2017 total…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Fortune | FORTUNE…


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