Weekly Photography Tips - Meteors
There are few things that peak peoples interest in the night sky more than the approach of a meteor shower. Watching these streaks of light across the night sky like a shot of adrenaline. As a photographer it's natural to want to capture and share them with those who can't make it out.
When I'm out capturing nightscapes I see a good many meteors but most are in a random direction so they aren't always captured. The advantage of going out to specifically shoot during a meteor shower is that you have a better idea of when and where they will fall so you can have you camera pointed in the right direction.
Each year meteors showers appear in out night sky that are usually associated with debris from old comets. Last week the Geminids peaked on the 13th and could be seen in the east out of the Gemini constellation. This week the smaller Ursids will peak on the 22nd to the north out of Ursa Minor or the Big Dipper.
You can't actually predict exactly when a meteor will fall so the only way to capture them is to set your camera up for time-lapse and allow it to just run for several hours. I use and ultra wide angle lens, 14-24mm and the internal intervalometer so I'm capturing a sequence of images from a large swath of the sky. With any luck, after a couple of hours of shooting I will have at least a few shots with meteors streaking through.
Once they are captured it's a simple matter of combining the images in Photoshop to produce a shot with several meteors. So get out there under the stars and see what you can see. If you miss the Ursids this month, you can catch the larger Quadrantids peaking on January 4th or if you really want to see something mark your calendar for the Perseids on August 13th.
2023 Nightscape Calendars are now available on my shop page.