This was not the shot I planned for, but I’ll take it.

Originally I was going to go back to the spot where I took the video of the International Space Station on Thanksgiving. This pass was going to be right overhead. I was going to shoot from the ground, getting the giant sundial (that’s what that thing is in the video) from underneath as ISS passed over.

Long story short... at 5:45 AM on a Sunday morning, a security guard for the shopping plaza told me I could not shoot with a tripod there. Now, I get that during the day, a tripod would get in the way of people shopping and going to the movies. But this was 5:45 AM on a Sunday. There was literally no one else around.

When I asked β€œWhy,” I was told I had an attitude and that the cops would be called and I would be trespassed. I though I was on a public sidewalk and had not crossed the barriers into the courtyard of the shopping plaza. Wrong. Our city gave the public sidewalk to the plaza several years ago for various reasons such as when kicking out baggy pants teens (code for teens of color), they would be unable to linger on the public sidewalk in front of the property.


So I left before the guard’s supervisor came around, who over the radio seemed like he was about to call the police. That was some bullshit. Now I have an attitude. Angry letter will be written as I am an old and grumpy man.

So I went over to the park on the bay and set up shop there. As ISS ascended in the sky behind me, I realized I didn’t have the camera pointed exactly where it needed to be. I quickly turned it, unknowingly creating the lens flares from the light in the park. But as far as a shit-ton of lens flare goes, it kinda works for the picture.


This is 12 30-second exposures to get the ISS trail. I stacked those and isolated the trail. I then blended the trail onto one of the frames to freeze the stars. Having six minutes of star trails just looks silly. The camera was at 18mm, f/5, and ISO 640.

Since you made it all the way to the end, I will reward you with a shot of the two annoyingly adorable kittens that we still haven’t found a home for.