Do I need a special eclipse filter for my iPhone? We asked Apple - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Do I need a special eclipse filter for my iPhone? We asked Apple.

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(Source: WISTV) (Source: WISTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

During the couple minutes of totality, when the moon totally eclipses the sun, no filters or glasses are needed, according to NASA.

However, otherwise, you'll need to wear your approved glasses and use an approved solar filter on your camera if you plan to photograph the eclipse. It's also a safe practice to monitor your shots using an LCD monitor, instead of looking directly through the camera’s viewfinder at the sun.

But, what if you want to snap a picture of the sun with your iPhone?  

“There is no valid reason why you would want to point your smartphone camera at the brilliant, un-eclipsed sun without putting a filter over the lens,” NASA wrote on its website.  

Apple, however, offers a different take.  

Friday, the California-based company told WIS it isn’t necessary to use a solar filter while snapping a picture of the sun with an iPhone or an iPad because the camera shoots at such a wide angle.

If you're still unsure, an astrophotographer recommends using a spare pair of eclipse glasses to craft a quick, cheap solar filter for a smart phone.

As for snapping a memorable photo on Eclipse day, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center offers these tips:

#1 - Safety First: Except during totality, protect your eyes with approved glasses and your camera with a solar filter.

"There are lots of filters and things you can buy for your camera that are eclipse-safe, so you want to put that on the outside. It has to be over the lens,” said Denise McGill, an associate professor of photography at the University of South Carolina.

#2 - Any Camera is a Good Camera: A good eye for photography can beat a good camera any day.

"The eclipse itself is going to be one tiny part of the event, so what else is going on in my frame?" said McGill.

#3 - Look Up, Down, and All Around

"I'm not an astronomy photographer, and I, like I said, love taking pictures of people, so I'm really planning on taking pictures of the event and how my friends and I, on the campus, how we're reacting and what's going on here,” explained McGill.”

#4 - Practice

"The number one thing is figure out where there's a good viewing spot,” McGill said. “For people who want to take pictures during the event, it moves pretty quickly, so if you're trying something new technically, practice it ahead of time."

#5 - Share

"Yeah, it's like this huge, huge international event, and it's happening right here,” the USC professor said. “Oh my gosh. This is for people that are just curious about the world. This is – this is great!"

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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