How to Photograph the Eclipse with an iPhone

Are you planning on shooting photos of the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 in Idaho Falls? Even if you do not have professional camera equipment, you can still take great photos of the eclipse using your iPhone or Android device.
To help you make the most of your smartphone’s camera, here are a few tips on how to capture the event on your iPhone.

Choose a Good Location

Planning out where you are going to take your shot is one of the first steps of taking a great picture of the eclipse on your smartphone. You should use GPS resources to find the best coverage such as the NASA eclipse map. Even though your spot, may be full of tourists and other photographers, you should look for a close by a scenic area that not too many claimed as their own. In East Idaho, anywhere between Rexburg and Idaho Falls is a great place to view the totality of the eclipse. The closer you are to the center of the eclipse path, the longer you will be able to view the totality. If you live outside the area, you will still be able to view the eclipse, just not the totality as only those who are directly in the path will view the entire event.


You may have heard that you will need to wear protection such as solar glasses to protect your eyes from the eclipse, however, you should also bring extra gear as well. This means covering your camera lens, binoculars, or other devices you are planning on using to view the eclipse.

However, to make sure that your solar filters are real since so many are being made counterfeit, they should have some sort of ISO 12312-2 written on the packaging. You should also check the American Astronomical Society to find the most honest sellers for your solar glasses. Plus, you can get free eclipse-viewing glasses at most local business throughout East Idaho.

While special filters are available to purchase online, you can make your own filter for your iPhone by taking one of the lenses out of the disposable solar eclipse glasses to cover your lens and protect the sensors from the damaging sunlight. To find a list of reputable eclipse glasses sellers, click here.

Turn Your Flash Off

Not only do you not want to be “that guy,” but it can hurt other people’s eyes. So, do yourself a favor and don’t use flash for photographing the eclipse.

Take Advantage of a Tripod

Although even a small tabletop one can work perfectly to capture the eclipse, a tripod can help prevent your camera from shaking and offers you more control of your smartphone camera during the eclipse.

iphone eclipse timer app

Use Your Camera’s Timer

Most smartphone cameras come with self-timers that allow a shot to be taken in a countdown of five seconds. This will allow for any shaking or camera movement to settle down before your shot is taken. This is especially helpful for the dark environment you’ll be in and when you want to choose a slower shutter speed. Also, be sure to check out the app store for Eclipse timer apps that help you take better-timed photos.

Choose an Attachable Camera Lens

Since the majority of smartphone camera lenses are only designed for digital zoom and suffer in dark lighting, it’s smart to bring along a telephoto attachable zoom lens to improve your shot. This way, you can get a closer and more vibrant shot of the eclipse. However, if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to buy an additional lens, you get nearly the same effect by using binoculars.

Practice Beforehand

It’s never a bad idea to try practice shooting beforehand under either the sun or the moon. Practicing can help make sure you are shooting correctly with your camera and can easily trace the path of the sun or moon using the drift shooting method.

Take a Variety of Photos

Remember, an eclipse doesn’t just happen every year, it’s best to take a variety of photos to remember the event. This way, you can choose your favorite photos and ditch the poorly taken ones. Although we don’t suggest taking a hundred photos a second, a good ten to fifteen photos of the eclipse should suffice. Plus, you can even take advantage of making a photo sequence that shows the sun and moon separating.

Don’t Forget to Watch the Eclipse

Just because you want to take pictures of the eclipse doesn’t mean you can’t watch it. In fact, we openly suggest that you do your best to admire the event, rather than hide behind a camera the whole time. Remember, this type of event doesn’t happen every day, try to make a good memory out of it.

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