It’s happening. On August 21st, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible for the first time in 38 years to those living between Oregon and South Carolina. If you’re outside of that optimal viewing zone, you may not see a full eclipse, but you should be able to see a partial one. As the event draws nearer, here are a few tips to capture a piece of astronomy history with your camera.

Don’t Look Directly At The Sun!

You absolutely need to purchase a special filter that will protect your eyes and enable you to take great photos. Choose a No. 14 arc-welder’s glass filter or solar filter. Also pick up some solar glasses.

Avoid The Vibration

To prevent less-than-optimal solar eclipse images, choose the fastest shutter speed available to you. Use a camera that has a 1/8000 setting, if possible. Also, bring a very sturdy tripod and the lowest ISO value you can attain. Increasing your focal length with the right lenses will help you capture images with sharpness and detail.

Get The Timing Right

If you’re in line to see the total eclipse, what you’ll be observing is a band of light that reflects off particles outside of the photosphere of the sun. It’s called the solar corona. That’s the shot you’re going for, and it does not last long.

 Download an eclipse app that will track when it’s happening so you have an idea, but also give yourself a bigger window to stare at the sky to watch for it. It lasts for 7.5 minutes, so you’ll want to be prepared with your camera on the right settings, on a tripod, well prior to give yourself the best opportunity for a great shot.

 Capturing fantastic solar eclipse images will wow anyone who peruses Your Art Gallery. Not only will they evoke a sense of the surreal, they’ll also speak to your ability to be prepared and pay attention to detail. Good luck on August 21st!