Nikon offers up some tips to shoot perfect solar eclipse photos

Mar 22, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Nikon offers up some tips to shoot perfect solar eclipse photos

Mar 22, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Nikon Eclipse Photography Tutorial and Tips

Nikon seems to be on one with the educational content at the moment. Right after releasing their Wildlife Edition Professional Settings Guide for the Nikon Z8 (buy here) and Z9 (buy here), they’ve got a video about the eclipse for us.

In it, Nikon offers up some tips for photographing the upcoming eclipse on April 8th. It’s broken down into easy-to-follow sections, from planning your shots to actually making them. And you don’t need to shoot Nikon to follow it.

YouTube video

Nikon’s Guide – For any brand camera

Nikon’s done quite well with this one, as they’ve not made it all about shooting with Nikon gear. Sure, they show Nikon gear, but who else’s would they show?

There are very few references in the video to features unique to Nikon. While there might be different journeys through the various menu systems to adjust them, your brand likely has its own implementations of those features.

Manual focus peaking, for example, is a pretty common feature in almost all mirrorless cameras these days. Other manufacturers also have long lenses with drop-in filters. Or mount adapters with a drop-in filter option.

And there are other alternatives, some of which are mentioned in the video.

Planning made simple

As important as the actual shooting technique itself, if not more so, is figuring out exactly which phases you want to focus on. Different phases of the eclipse will require different techniques, some of which you’ll have to figure out yourself at the time of shooting.

But knowing which techniques apply to which phases of the eclipse will allow you to set your camera up in advance, ready to shoot that one phase. It means you won’t be struggling trying to shoot every technique you’ve read for every phase.

Even if you might scramble to capture the other phases, you can be reasonably confident of getting that one right. And perhaps you want to try to shoot all the phases, and maybe spend the next week or two practising switching your settings quickly. Rehearsing for the big event!

All of the different phases and techniques for each are covered, with some great advice about exactly when you do and don’t need to have the solar filter in place. This is a big one. Removing or inserting it too early or too late can ruin a lot of photos if you’re bracketing.

Prepare more for the Eclipse

The upcoming eclipse is happening on April 8th. It’s a total solar eclipse, and you can even book a flight to witness the Eclipse from the air. We’ve featured a number of eclipse photography posts here on DIYP recently.

If you prefer a more structured and in-depth approach to your eclipse photography… One with lots of checklists and things to help ensure the smoothest shoot possible… You might want to check out these tutorials and tips on Eclipse photography from Alan Dyer.

Or maybe you’ve got a Raspberry Pi (buy here) and Pi HQ Camera Module (buy here) lying around and want to build your own digital telescope to photograph it? Well, there’s a tutorial for that, too.

I won’t get to see the eclipse from here in the UK. At least, not totality. But I hope that all of you planning to go photograph it make sure to protect your eyes!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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