What with this year being the last opportunity for a transit of Venus, an annular eclipse for some Americans and the approaching solar maximum producing a lot of sunspots, it's likely that more people will be interested in shooting the Sun.
First off - Safety is paramount. Looking at the Sun with the naked eye can be dangerous. Using magnifying optics can be very dangerous. Do not be tempted to try ND filters, smoked glass, exposed film, Mylar, crisp (potato chip) packets or any of the myriad other items that I've seen recommended. Even if they block most of the visible light there's a good chance they'll let all the retina-frying infrared through. Use something designed for the job.
Now, there are a few specialised filters that cost several hundred Pounds/Dollars/Euros. Luckily there is also Baader AstroSolar Film. This is a very thin plastic/metal film that does a great job of blocking all the nasty radiation from the Sun. And an A4 sheet of it costs just £20. That's enough to make a couple of 77mm filters and one big one to fit a super-tele lens or a telescope. Today I want to describe how I make the 77mm filter. Later in the year I'll show how I make a large filter for my 300 f2.8 (these big ones aren't easy to store, so I'll wait until a week or so before the transit in June).