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Lowcountry photographer offers advice on solar eclipse photos

WCIV

Many people around the Lowcountry are hoping to snap a stunning image of this month's solar eclipse. But one local professional photographer says it's important for pros and amateurs alike to know it's not as easy as point and shoot.

Erin O'connor spends her time capturing moments. Her focus is making sure you don't miss out.

"The moments that, if you're a bride and groom, you might be across the room and not notice your great grandmother dancing with your nephew, or something adorable happening," said O'Connor.

O'connor's expertise is portrait and event photography, but she says she can't pass up the chance to capture a once in a lifetime moment.

"My plan in really, since I don't in my kit have amazing telephoto lenses like a nature photographer would, I'm going to work on a wider shot," O'Connor says.

But O'Connor says it's crucial to be using the proper tools, and that begins with protecting a digital camera's sensor, the same as you'd protect your own eyes.

"Anytime that you would be needing to wear eclipse glasses, if you are planning to shoot with a DSLR camera, you'll want to have a solar filter on there." said O'Connor. "Basically anytime you would be wearing those glasses, you also want to protect the sensor in your camera."

But protecting that sensor comes with a price tag, as does outfitting yourself with high quality lenses,

"If you want to rent telephoto lenses and buy filters you could really get into the thousands," O'Connor says.

The price of those solar filters can vary. O'Connor says she found one for $50 which fits a lens she already owns.

A little preparation will go a long way toward making your eclipse photos truly special, but O'Connor says what's equally important is to capturing a lasting memory is to be in the moment.

"Definitely take pictures but, also be sure to put your camera down and experience it yourself, because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said O'Connor.

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