American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Academy of Optometry Give Tips For Eclipse Photos


SAN FRANCISCO—The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry are teaming up to offer tips on how to safely photograph an eclipse. Millions of people are expected to use smartphones and digital cameras to photograph Aug. 21’s eclipse, and as VMail previously reported, experts and eyecare professionals are concerned that people are unaware of the damage it can do to their eyes.

While other associations and organizations have been warning against faulty eclipse glasses, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry want to remind viewers that they must also use appropriate, specially designed filters for their cameras.

“Before pointing your camera at the sun, you need to get a special-purpose solar filter and put it over the camera lens,” said Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Never look at the sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter, and injure your eyes. Also, do not use solar eclipse glasses to look through a camera, binoculars or a telescope. The sun can melt the filter and damage your eyes.”

Ralph Chou, OD, MSc, FAAO and a professor emeritus of optometry and vision science at the University of Waterloo, is a lifelong eclipse chaser and is offering several tips for safely photographing an eclipse. Buying a solar filter, using a tripod or remote trigger, and (for smartphone users) getting a telephoto lens system are some of the ways to safely get a picture of the eclipse. See the full list of Dr. Chou’s tips here.

In related news, UnitedHealthcare donated 10,000 solar eclipse glasses to select school districts and Boys and Girls Clubs of America across the nation. Representatives from the company will distribute the glasses to the children and provide educational materials with tips to safely view the eclipse, the company stated.