Photographer Discusses Dangers Of Shooting Eclipse Without Proper Equipment

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ROGERS (KFSM)-- Taking a photo of the eclipse that will take place Monday (Aug. 21) afternoon is not as simple as stepping outside, pointing your camera at the sun and snapping a picture.

Professional Photographer and Publicity Chairman for the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas Melissa Jones said it is crucial that you have a solar filter on your lens.

Without it, you could ruin your equipment.

“It’s essentially the same as taking a magnifying glass and holding up to the sunlight on a piece of paper," Jones said. "It’s going to smoke, it’s going to burn. It’s basically going to burn out the sensor on your camera. It’s also going to damage the glass that is in your lens. It’s going to cause severe damage and you are going to ruin your camera by doing that.”

Jones said you can purchase a filter, but most stores are sold out.

She continued to say those that are not are very expensive.

If you are unable to purchase a filter, you can make one.

All you need is some Mylar, some black tape and something big enough to go over your lens.

Jones said she simply taped the Mylar to the top of a yogurt container with some black duct tape.

She explained when you make one, you want to make sure no light leaks in and to test it before the eclipse.

The Mylar may be hard to find though.

“Most of the places at this point are sold out, there might be a few places," Jones said. "A lot of the solar glasses are also sold out. So really you should have gotten it by now. There may be some people that are selling them online, but they are going to be very pricey at this point.”

She said if you cannot make a filter or buy one, your best option is to enjoy the eclipse with solar glasses.

Jones advised you can take wide shots of eclipse with your cell phone, but if you want to zoom in you will need to place the lens up to one of the pieces of Mylar in the solar glasses.

Without the glasses, the rays could damage the camera sensor on your phone.

Another piece of advice Jones gave to photographers with all the right equipment is to always look at your screen on your camera instead of through the view finder.

Jones said the rays can still damage your eyes by looking through the view finder.