Photography

Bringing kinja into focus, one frame at a time

Artsy Star Trails And A Meteor

I went out on Sunday and Monday nights to shoot some meteors, star trails, and Milky Way shots.

Sunday night/Monday morning yielded over 20 meteor sightings, but none that showed up very prominently in the pictures. Not quite bright enough and moving too fast for the sensor to really pick them up. There were some clouds that settled in right on the Milky Way, so the whole night was kind of a bust.

Monday night/Tuesday morning, despite being the peak for both the Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids, did not have nearly as many meteors (at least in my location). But there was one that was one of the best meteors I’ve seen in almost two years. It was a biggie. It even left a visible glowing vapor trail in the sky for a minute. Totally worth the time spent over two nights shooting.

I’m still working on editing a good Milky Way shot from the second night. I’ve not been happy with the results, so I’m going to step away from it for a few days and start over with fresh eyes. But the star trails worked out exceptionally.

I went a little overboard with the hypercolor saturation and the smoothing out of the stars. But that was the point, to get a little artsy with it. And yes, that is that big old meteor cutting through the star trails.

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The image is composed of 379 consecutive 20-second exposures shot at 18mm, f/3.5, and ISO 1600. I also took one light-painted shot of the sea grapes that I put in my foreground at ISO 100. Otherwise, the sea grapes would have just been a shadowy mess. I did the stacking in StarStax and edited and blended the trails and foreground shot in Photoshop. I’m super happy with how it came out.  

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