Can you get a decent picture of the eclipse with your smartphone - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Can you get a decent picture of the eclipse with your smartphone?

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The solar eclipse is less than two weeks away, and it's expected to be the most photographed event in human history.

But what can amateurs expect their pictures to look like? 

Experts say you need the right kind of gear, and some of that gear can cost a lot of money, leaving people to wonder if you can still get a good shot with a smartphone.

Murphy's Camera on Bardstown Road is getting a lot of questions about how to shoot the eclipse. 

"The ideal thing is to have some type of a camera with a long lens," Murphy's employee Don Sivori said.

Sivori explained how the best images will come from using equipment like DSLR cameras and telephoto zooms. But most people who view the eclipse won't have more than a smartphone.

"The thing about smartphones ... it's basically just a wide angle lens," Sivori said. "Anything at a distance is greatly diminished."

But many will want to capture the moment anyway, and there are some ways you can get a better picture with a handheld device.

If you take an unfiltered photo of the sun, the image will be completely blown out. But if you hold your eclipse glasses up to your smartphone lens, you'll get a more detailed photo of the sun.

It won't take up much of the screen. But zooming in can diminish the picture quality.

Instead, you can buy a $30 zoom lens, available online. It attaches to your phone, and comes with a tripod. NASA said it should give enough magnification to see some details in the corona.

"You need a lens that'll get you in closer to get the most dramatic image," Sivori said.

Sivori said you should protect your own eyes before you worry about the perfect picture. Looking at the unfiltered sun can cause serious eye injuries.

No matter what you shoot with, you will need to use an approved solar filter.

WDRB eclipse glasses are available at Heine Brothers locations. Other larger solar filters start at around $50 online.

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