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A photographer shows what happens if you try to shoot the eclipse without a filter

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Use the proper solar filters

The total solar eclipse set to take place on August 21st is going to be a sight to behold — provided you have the proper protection for your eyes and camera. Looking at the Sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes, but if you’re not careful, you can also destroy your camera.

The employees from Dubuque, Iowa’s Every Photo Store decided to demonstrate what would happen if you try and and shoot the eclipse without a filter for your camera. They hooked up a DSLR body to a Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS II lens, and set shutter to six seconds. In that time, the light began to melt the camera’s innards.

The takeaway here is that if you’re going to try and get a good shot of the eclipse, use a solar filter. (Here’s some helpful tips on how to do that.) If you’re not planning on photographing the event, you should still get some certified solar glasses for your eyes. If you didn’t manage to get your hands on a pair, you can always make a pinhole projector.