If you have been wanting to try your hand at night sky photography, or just want to improve on the star photos you’ve already taken, you’re in luck. Canon Australia has teamed up with Phil Hart, winner of an Astrofest David Malin Award and creator of some truly brilliant astrophotography shots, to put together a video tutorial that will help you out with everything from selecting the right tripod to exposure settings.
If you haven’t actually been to Paris, like me, you’re probably accustomed to seeing it’s more classic landmarks. You’re probably used to seeing a lot more of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc de Triomphe than you are to seeing the rest of the city. You’re used to seeing the romantic side, but you’re not used to seeing the urban side.
We’ve all got that picture that we can only shoot once in a lifetime. With the upcoming meteor shower this week, that shot might even come for one of us then. So when you’re a photographer working for NASA, it’s safe to say that you’re not just limited to one once-in-a-lifetime capture.
That’s the kind of shots that Ron Garan takes, while working as a photographer for NASA. Back in 2011, he had the opportunity to capture how the Perseid Meteor Shower looks from space, onboard the International Space Station itself; in celebration of the Perseid’s return, the picture was just recently posted on NASA’s website.
“Denizens of planet Earth typically watch meteor showers by looking up. But this remarkable view, captured on August 13, 2011 by astronaut Ron Garan, caught a Perseid meteor by looking down. From Garan’s perspective onboard the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of about 380 kilometers, the Perseid meteors streak below, swept up dust left from comet Swift-Tuttle heated to incandescence. The glowing comet dust grains are traveling at about 60 kilometers per second through the denser atmosphere around 100 kilometers above Earth’s surface. In this case, the foreshortened meteor flash is right of frame center, below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenish airglow, just below bright star Arcturus.”
- A description of the photo from NASA
By the way, this isn’t an event only exclusive to North Americans or Europeans. People from all over the world will be able to witness it this week. With the Supermoon coinciding this week, you should probably check out a few articles online on how best to view it from where you live. We might not all get a change to photograph these lights from space, but we can still shoot that lifetime-worthy picture. All it takes is inspiration and the will to act on it.
And money for gear. But mostly inspiration.
Out of everything I’ve got on my camera’s bucket list, the night sky is what’s always intimidated me the most. I look at so many amazing photos of the Milky Way, or of billions of stars with absolutely no light pollution at all, and I find myself saying it’d be impossible for me to take something like that. If you’ve ever considered trying to get into night photography, you know how overwhelming it can feel at first. Mark Gee will be the first person out of any to tell you that going into it will require some serious patience. But like anything, if you put in the right amount of effort with the right amount of heart, that patience will ultimately pay off. To help out on getting started with astrophotography, Mark Gee wrote a tutorial that goes over almost everything we need to know.
Photographing a meteor shower is more like photographing a time-lapse than traditional still photos. You can never anticipate where or when a meteor is going to streak across the sky. In order to catch them you have to set up and take as many photos as you can throughout the night with a wide angle lens on the camera. If you leave the camera in the same position you can use the resulting images for a short time-lapse clip in addition to the still images you can capture.
On May 24, 2014 and through Memorial Day weekend, we are about to pass through a brand new comet tail. Not much is known about this meteor shower, but we do know the debris was created by a comet passing through this area of space in the 1800s. The best viewing will be in the Northern Hemisphere (Southern Canada and the continental US). As with all meteor showers it could be a dud or it could be great. The meteors will be radiating from the north in the constellation Camelopardalis and should be visible all night in the northern hemisphere. [Read more...]