With the Great American Eclipse on Aug 21 only a few weeks away, I decided to put together some solar filters. With the high travel costs to get to the eclipse from Southern California, I saved some money through purchasing the solar filter sheets instead of the pre-made filters. To facilitate a fast detachment during totality, compared to a screw on filter, I made some cardboard holders that fit into my Lee filter holder.
Solar Filter Sheet from Thousand Oaks Optical: $15 vs the $150 Lee solar filter.
Step 1: Get a filter sheet
Step 2: Measure (100mm square) or trace out the shape for the stiff backing material. I used part of an old box.
Step 3: Cut a hole for the filter, for the size I used the filter holder as a template and an knife to make the opening, cutting on scrap cardboard so as to not damage the table.
Step 4: Cut another cardboard sheet for the other side, I used a thinner material so it fit snugly in the Lee filter holder.
Step 5: Tape together
Step 6: Enjoy the eclipse!
Remember, never look at the sun without a filter (except during totality).
Some other great resources for the upcoming eclipse
- Observing and Photographing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse – Catching the Light
- Great American Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017 – Mr. Eclipse
- Predicting crowds for areas of totality – Great American Eclipse
About the Author
Matthew Kuhns is an award winning California-based landscape photographer. He travels around the world seeking the perfect light, and his photos have been featured in many publications such as National Geographic, Microsoft, Sunset Magazine, Popular Photography and PDN, to name a few.
You can see more of his work on his website, Facebook page and 500px. Also, make sure to check out his SkyFire app, which helps you find the best light wherever you are. This article was also published here and shared with permission.