Great American Eclipse presents perfect photo opportunity

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TOPEKA (WIBW)- The "Great American Eclipse" is coming August 21, and with northeast Kansas set to be at the peak of eclipse activity, it's going to offer up a unique photo opportunity.

A solar eclipse will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, Aug. 21, speeding along at 1,500 miles per hour. Northeast Kansas is in the eclipse's "path of totality," with part of the WIBW viewing area turning pitch black for about two minutes that day.

It's going to be a well-documented event nationwide, and if you plan on viewing the eclipse, there's some safety tips to keep in mind.

No matter if you're trying to get a photo or not, you'll need special eclipse glasses. They will protect your eyes from being damaged by the sun's rays.

If you plan on doing some photography, Mike Worswick of Wolfe's Camera in Topeka suggest a more powerful zoom lens.

"If you take a picture of the sun with your phone, it's going to look like a speck of dust," said Worswick.

Worswick says they've sold quite a few lenses, solar filters, and other eclipse viewing gear like solar binoculars. None of that equipment will help, though, if you're not right on time.

Photographers will only have two minutes and forty seconds to snap a photo of the eclipse as it passes over northeast Kansas before moving on.

"Put together your best combination (of equipment), and go with it," said Worswick.

Worswick also recommends using a tripod, getting comfortable with some of the manual settings on your camera, and finding a good spot to view the eclipse, especially if you're under the path of totality.

"Most Kansans can drive 25 to 40, 50 miles and be there, so how could you miss out on this?" says Worswick.

Towns like Hiawatha and Atchison are under the path of totality. They're expecting record numbers of visitors in town and surrounding areas to view the eclipse.