Perseid Meteor Shower. (Lots of time to sit and just gaze up and out into the universe)

Perseid Meteor Shower

Bulb mode, 27 sec f/4.0 ISO 3200 24mm.


Yes I’m running on just a few hours’ sleep after staying out till after 3:30am photographing the Perseid meteor shower. Although I captured many images with meteors it was not at all what I had hoped I would capture. A sky watcher did not have to look in any particular direction, I seen meteors from the east to the northwest. I also saw many straight up above my head. But with that said I wanted to capture an image with just a touch of landscape in it and I just could not get a really bright meteor in any of my captures.

I did not have to travel far to set up my camera, I put my gear in the car and drove up the hill to the back field on the farm where I live and I had a great view of the sky. I was on top of a hill and other than a silo I had a view of the whole sky. I set up about 10:30pm and after about twenty minutes of test shot and getting my setting correct I was firing away. I used a shutter release which I had programmed for a 27 second shutter opening. I know after about 28 seconds the stars will move enough to cause noticeable streaks in the image or “star trails” as most people would call them. However I did not want star trails on this night. I put the camera in Bulb mode and I varied my ISO and aperture depending on which lens I was using. My ISO range was 800 to 3200. It changed as the night went on.

Although I did not get a really nice image like I hoped I would get I did have a lot of fun. I have a Dodge Durango that is perfect for working out of the back of the vehicle. The back door opens upward and this keeps the night dew from settling directly on me. The camera on the other hand was getting dew after a few hours and that is easily handled by placing a towel over the camera. The lens did well for about 30 minutes and then I would switch out from the 24mm to the 50mm, keeping one lens warm and dry while the other is on camera worked great.

It was so nice to have a camera with a WiFi connection because after the camera was set and the shutter release turned on I could just sit and view the images coming in on my tablet. I had the music playing low and it was a very peaceful night. I was alone and that made it more peaceful. Lots of time to sit and just gaze up and out into the universe, something I have not done in a while. The last time I was able to just sit and gaze at the stars (no photography) was last November while I was on Ko Chang in the Gulf of Thailand. I had really bad jet lag and sat outside a few nights and gazed the stars and drifted away into thoughts about everything and anything while the nighttime sound of the jungle played in my head.

So in the end I did capture one image that I liked enough to post. Looking to the northwest I captured this image at 3:07am using a 24-105mm lens. My camera was set to Bulb mode, 27 sec f/4.0 ISO 3200 24mm. My edit was made in Lightroom CC and just a touch of Photoshop to remove a dust spot and tone down the yellow lights rising up from the distant highway.

Thanks for reading and have a great day. J

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