Today's Image

We stand corrected

View larger at EarthSky Community Photos. | Image via Dr Ski, who said: “In the above image, I moved the camera a bit to expose just a small portion of the sun’s limb to get those cool diffraction spikes (caused by the small aperture blades).”

Our friend Dr Ski, in Valencia, Philippines, has been noticing images of the sun posted at EarthSky Community Photos, and he gave us a stern talking-to.

The sun can create some dramatic images. But all of posts I see here that promote unsafe solar viewing and are very disturbing!

He offered these guidelines for taking images of the sun:

1) Always have something handy to block the sun (like your hand!) when looking for solar phenomena or trying to compose a shot.

2) Never aim your camera at the sun without something to block the solar disc.

3) Never use your electronic viewfinder, if you have one.

4) Telephoto lenses are a bad idea; they magnify the sun’s intensity.

5) Use your slowest aperture (e.g. f16) and slowest ISO (e. g. ISO100). Even at those slow conditions, the shutter speed will be fast enough to preclude the use a tripod! (although a tripod helps in fine-tuning your composition)

6) Always block the sun’s disc! Then you won’t get those annoying lens flares that might be mistaken for Neptune.

Thanks so much, Dr Ski!

Another EarthSky Community Photo contributor, Peter Lowenstein, added:

Never use your OPTICAL viewfinder. The image in an optical viewfinder is projected directly onto the retina in the eye so observing the sun through it even momentarily can damage the eye.

Thank you, Peter!

Sun shining through the petals of a large red flower.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Peter Lowenstein captured this image on September 14, 2019. He wrote: “Here is a beautiful picture of a flowering Amaryllis which was used to block the sun and only allow it to shine through a small gap between the petals. Safe to view and safe to photograph!”

Bottom line: How to protect your eyes when taking photos of the sun.

September 17, 2019
Today's Image

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