Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday encore ~ Shots in the dark

This post is from last August, during the Perseid meteor shower. 
I considered trying again this year to capture amazing photographs of the night sky
with meteors streaking through every one of them.
Then I laughed, rolled over and went back to sleep.
I did sleep in the sunroom the nights the shower was at its peak.
It was a much more civilized way to watch the show than standing in the corral
looking through the camera lens.


I set my alarm for 3 o'clock Thursday morning. 
There was a meteor shower in progress and I was determined to get some pictures of it. 
The 7MSN may not have garbage pickup or pizza delivery service, 
but by golly we've got dark skies. What better place to view and photograph meteors, right?
I studied up on the recommended meteor-shooting settings for my camera
and walked outside with confidence that I would capture a pile of blog-worthy images.


Turns out taking pictures of the night sky is basically shooting blind.
I knew I was supposed to focus my lens on "infinity" 
but these stars must have been further away than that. 

After much trial and error and lens-swapping, I finally got the focus right.
I had the camera set on a tripod and was making 30-second exposures.
Meteors were raining down from all parts of the sky, but do you think
a few would have the courtesy to streak through my field of view? Nope.

Every time I pointed the camera to a different place, the meteors would shoot across
the sky where I had just been. I'm quite sure they were messing with me.

Lessons learned from trying to photograph meteors:
1). It's hard. 2). I need to spend more time outside in the middle of the night
because the stars out here are jaw-dropping awesome.
3). Memories can be just as good as pictures but they're not as much fun to blog about.


  1. Well Carson, we went to higher elevations and lower elevations for meteors. The higher elevation had such thick fog move in that we literally couldn't see our cameras in front of us ... bummer! Went down to a lower elevation and did get one little one streaking across the sky, but like you they were everywhere but in front of our camera! Yes, we're determined to practice more nighttime shots and another challenge is the Milky Way.

  2. My best viewing was fifty plus years ago, camping out in the back yard. Well, we had sleeping bags and pillows anyway. Gorgeous.

    My Dad lived in a house on Lake Barkley facing Land Between the Lakes for a few years. Milky Way was wonderfully visible on clear nights. Never attempted pictures. I've had no luck with Christmas tree lights over the years.

  3. still is mind bogling what is going on over our heads in the dark. Thanks for reposting.

  4. An American in Tokyo8/21/16, 5:43 PM

    Sleeping in the sunroom sounds great!
    Maybe you should try your go pro(?) camera on video next time? Just leave it strapped somewhere and turn it on and off from the bed in your sunroom! hee hee!

  5. Yep. Shooting shooting stars is not for the faint of heart. Had similar problems here. I did see you caught at least one, though. And you're right about needing to be reminded about the awesomeness of night skies. Wow.

  6. I think they came out good. The best view is in the guest room, you can just lay there and watch them, amazing.