Quick tips! Perseids Meteor Shower viewing and photography tips.

August 12, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

August 12th and 13th 2014, is the Perseid meteor shower. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, you're in luck. This meteor shower will be visible above the equator in areas with low light pollution, though there is a possibility our recent "super-moon" might drown out some of the lighter meteors. Photographing a meteor shower takes patience and a little know how. 

  • The best times for viewing the Perseids meteor shower will be between 11:00pm and 4:30am (California viewing times). There is an estimated 15-30 meteors per hour. Look for the constellation Perseus to know what direction to view. 
  • Light pollution from cities may make viewing and photographing more difficult. Find a location that is safe and away from city lights. This will make for a much better experience. The moon will be 88% full and will add to the light in the sky and lighter meteors may not be visible.
  • Prepare yourself and gear. It will be a little chilly, so bring your coat and/or blanket. Wearing gloves will help keep your fingers warm to release your shutter and adjust your settings. Bring a shutter release or remote, make sure your camera is on a tripod. Weighing your tripod down with small sand bags or weights helps minimize camera shake and vibration. 
  • Wider focal lengths will show less movement in stars. Try and keep a focal length less than 50mm with a shutter speed under 30 seconds. If you decide to use a telephoto lens, focal lengths over 50mm even between 20-30 seconds will show star trails. So keep your shutter faster if using longer focal lengths. 
  • The falling meteors are random, be patient! With a viewing rate of 15-30 an hour, you are bound to get a meteor captured. Because the meteors passing are only visible for a short amount of time, use your widest aperture setting to make sure the meteor exposes your sensor enough to make it visible on your image. Using a high ISO like ISO1600 will help capture the meteors better. Your cameras sensor will increase in sensitivity and you will more likely have a visible meteor in your photo.

Keep these things in mind and have fun shooting!


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