How to take a photo of the eclipse with a smartphone

It won’t get you a professional photo of the eclipse, but great results are possible

Using a smartphone or compact camera won’t get you a professional photo of the eclipse, but a great souvenir shots are perfectly possible. There are two ways of doing this; pointing your phone at the Sun and Moon, and filming a wide-angle shot of the ‘scene’ – perhaps including you and your group watching the eclipse.

Pointing your smartphone (or compact camera) at the eclipse:

1 – Keep you phone as still as possible, preferably on a tripod

2 – Tape some solar eclipse glasses over the lens (if there’s thin cloud you may not have to)

3 – Use the two-second delay (pressing the touchscreen to take a photo will cause a judder that will ruin your photo

4 – Result: a basic. But very small, image of a smiley face Sun


Taking a wide-angle photo of the eclipse with your smartphone (or compact camera):

It’s not all about the Sun and Moon; an eclipse is as much about where you view it from, and who you view it with.

1 – Set-up your camera against a rock/on a chair/tripod

2 – Get people and foreground into the shot

3 – Set camera to video, or even time-lapse video, and just let it roll

4 – Get a 360 degree camera accessory and do the same (but place it in front of you)


Using your smartphone to take other creative photos with your smartphone

1 – Photo #1: Your viewing partners wearing their solar eclipse glasses

2 – Photo #2: Tiny crescent Suns projected onto white paper through a kitchen colander or slotted spoon (10 mins before and after to Totality)

3 – Photo #3: The ground underneath leafy trees; the leaves can sometimes filter tiny crescent Suns onto the floor (10 mins before and after to Totality)

4 – Photo #4: ‘Shadow bands’ or ‘shadow snakes’ shimmering on the floor/side of a car (10 mins before and after to Totality)

5 – Photo #5: ‘People shots’ are always the most interesting

Photo credit: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel


Want to see another eclipse? Check out our ebook When Is The Next Eclipse? : When, where & how to see solar & lunar eclipses. Travel guide 2018-2030