The total solar eclipse that's about to take place next month presents an extremely rare photo opportunity. We have some pointers (and a little bit of opinion) coming at you from an expert in the coming days, but in the meantime, the folks at Nikon have put together a useful pair of tutorial videos that will help you nail that perfect eclipse shot when the time comes.

To be clear: these videos were created by the Nikon USA YouTube channel. To that end, there are a few points in the gear video specifically where the branding is laid on pretty thick; however, if you can get past the PR, the information is very useful and, in fact, brand-agnostic. Photographer Lucas Gilman knows his stuff.

Nikon broke down their tutorial into two 3-minute videos: Gear & Prep and Camera Settings. If you're planning to shoot the eclipse, grab yourself a pen and pad, scroll down, and click play.

Part 1: Gear and Preparation

The first stop on the gear and prep train is safety—get proper eye protection and slap a solar filter onto your lens to prevent sensor damage. Then, Gilman touches on the kind of camera and lens you should choose.

For his needs, he's picked a D500 APS-C body for a bit of extra reach, and a Nikkor 200-500mm lens attached to a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter.

Finally, Gilman outlines some of the accessories you'll want to bring along. Namely: a stable tripod, extra memory cards, a few fully charged batteries, and a cable release.

Camera Settings

Now that you have the proper gear, it's time to set up your camera. In the second video, Gilman discusses how to determine the proper exposure for two key eclipse shots: a closeup of the sun at totality and photographing the crescent.

While your settings will obviously vary depending on the conditions on the day you're out there shooting, the tips in the video above will get you most of the way there.

Photos courtesy of Nikon USA