I finally finished editing the last of my Geminid Meteor Shower pics.
The star trails is composed of 259 32-second exposures (18mm, f/3.5, ISO 1250). In that time, I only caught two meteors, one of which was really bright and vibrant.
This was a pain in butt to edit. There was some really noticeable airglow/nightglow happening, which changed the white balance as it changed. There was also some mist/fog that settled in for a bit, making some of the frames weird. I also stupidly and accidentally lit up the water with my red light flashlight for a few frames.
In editing, every time I compensated for one thing, it made another worse. It was a mess. The process of editing 259 frames (including getting rid of airplanes), saving them as TIF files (for stacking), stacking the files, and editing the result only to find it was good took about two hours. I did this six times.
I finally found a balance that I was happy with.
This second picture is the frame with the really bright and vibrant meteor. It also has the airglow/nightglow in full effect, even reflecting on the water. The other meteor frame was all messy from the fog. There was no saving it as an individual picture.
I’ve seen airglow in my shots before, but it was really bright this night. It also helps that there is zero light pollution on the horizon to wash it out. The next patch of land beyond the barrier island beach on the horizon (which is about three miles away) is the Western Sahara. With no light pollution, everything in the sky just lights up.