Preparing for the Perseid meteor shower

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It’s no secret that lately I’ve been on a big night photography kick; for some reason I just really enjoy trying to get interesting night shots. The interesting lighting opportunities, the use of painting combined with star trails and the overall serenity of being out in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere is just appealing to me these days.

While I’m in the early stages of learning more about astronomy, the Perseid meteor show is a fairly unique opportunity for me to mix a little photography as well. To make sure I had a clue what I was doing, I did a test run before this Thursday night’s big event (the peak of the shower). I ran about an hour worth of 30 second exposures at f/4, ISO 1600 last night. Even with the 300D, the images looked good. To my surprise, I actually did catch one such falling star among the 120 or so shots I took. It wasn’t spectacular (no fireball or anything), but it was very easy to spot. I was thrilled to tell you the truth, I didn’t expect to get a meteor last night!

Basically I’m now convinced that as long as I point the camera in the right direction (for some reason, I always find Cassiopeia first, and then can find Perseus from there), I should be able to get something. Hopefully I’ll be able to build a composite image of all the falling stars, which from my understanding looks quite interesting. I doubt mine will look as good as Fred Bruenjes photograph from last year’s shower. But that won’t stop me from trying!