Tips on how to get the perfect photo of the total solar eclipse

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Professional photographers from around the world are set to descend on Middle Tennessee for the epic eclipse on Aug. 21.

But you don’t have to be a professional to capture this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Jeb Wilson has been in photography since his early teens. Owner of the Nashville Photography Group, he’s a Cali kid who brought his talents to Tennessee.

Those talents have since taken him around the world with a couple highlights to date.

“I photographed the first lady two years ago, Miss Obama,” noted Wilson. “My team and I also photographed an orthodox wedding in Ethiopia.”

(Photo: WKRN)

But there’s one glaring hole in his resume–the perfect shot of a total solar eclipse.

“It’s such a rare phenomenon,” said Wilson. “Any time there’s something cool happening, we want to be there taking pictures of it.”

For those new to photography, capturing the moment is still possible. All you need is the right equipment and the right information.

“Obviously having a tripod … The most important thing as far as equipment goes, is definitely having a solar filter,” explained Wilson “It’s like a really heavy duty pair of sunglasses for your camera, so you don’t ruin all this fancy equipment.”

In some ways, it’s an equation between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Nasim Mansurov, with Photography Life, explains online.

  • ISO: The level of sensitivity of your camera to available light.
  • Aperture: A hole within a lens, through which light travels into the camera body.
  • Shutter speed: The length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor.

You’ll also want to be prepared for both night and day photography, given that the few of minutes of totality will be near dark.

Though most experts News 2 spoke with advise against smartphone eclipse photography, officials at NASA say there is a way— if you’re prepared, patient, and stay safe.

(Photo: WKRN)

On their total eclipse website, NASA urges amateurs to practice with the moon. Make sure you know how to properly focus your camera on the moon.

You’ll likely want to purchase a tripod or clamp, as well as a specialized zoom lens.

Never look directly at the sun, so protect both your phone and your eyes with proper eclipse glasses. For the best protection, you’ll likely want to stick to total darkness during totality.

Above all, know that photography on this scale is complicated. Make sure to do your research, making sure that neither your eyes nor your equipment is damaged.

Click here to see some more tips from National Geographic.

Visit for all the resources and information you need.