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Insights & Thoughts

Perseid Meteor Shower Will Make for Some Amazing Photo Ops

By Anthony Thurston on August 9th 2013

The 2010 Perseids over the VLT

All of you aspiring nightscape/star photographers out there take note, coming up on the nights of August 11th-12th and 12th-13th the Perseid Meteor shower will be making its yearly appearance. It is one of the best times of year to try and capture some amazing images with meteors shooting across the sky.

According to NASA the Perseid Meteor Shower produces more visible fireballs than any of the other yearly Meteor Showers that occur. At their peak there can be up to 50 meteors streaking across the sky during a given hour, which as you can imagine makes for a really neat picture opportunity. The best time to try and capture these images according to NASA is between 10:30pm and 4:30am in your local time.

histogram

If you are interested in trying to get some shots of the meteor shower here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Bring a Tripod and Cable Release – Chances are your shutter speed will be longer in some cases, meaning you will need to stabilize your camera. Even if its not longer, a tripod should be in your kit.  
  2. Go out into the Country – Get as far away from cities and lights as you can. The less light leak into the sky the easier it will be to get pleasing images.
  3. Shoot for a shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds.
  4. Spend a few hours, try different settings and experiment to see what gets you the best results.

For more tips on how to capture a meteor shower, check out Matthew Saville’s video article HERE.

Are you planning on taking this opportunity to take some images of the night sky? Let us know your plans in a comment below.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. mysteryliner

    I would personally recommend a shorter shutter speed.
    – Preferably shoot with a wide lens, 20-24mm.. (Google “rule of 600 photography” or “rule of 500 photography”
    Because depending on the focal length, the stars will start to streaking at 20seconds. (unless you buy a big star tracking system with various moving motors)
    – Select the maximum aperture your lens has. Canon 24mm 1.4 is my go to lens for astrophotography.
    – logic dictates you try to shoot with the lowest possible ISO for less noise. But it is better to shoot with a higher ISO (ISO2500-3200) and have a nice exposure, then to shoot at ISO100 and get underexposed shots.
    – Plan ahead! -plan your location (minimal light pollution) … -the sky (using apps like “Star Walk” to find what you want to shoot)
    – Take enough time to leave your camera and enjoy the location and the beautiful sky!!

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