Monday, January 7, 2013

Quadrantids Meteor Shower 2013 (Cosmic Spin)

In the early hours of January 3rd I attempted to photograph the Quadrantids Meteor Shower. I thought I did my homework right but it line up just to the right of this photograph. I was going to get this shot and then photograph the meteor shower on the next shot, but at 4am the sky got significantly brighter and it was hard to see the meteors. I could of crossed a little stream to line the boat up the meteor shower, but I have not been there during the day and I had no idea what the stream was like. I was alone and I did not want to take the risk of getting wet on a cold night. I did capture two meteors. I wish the did not so closely parallel the spin of the stars. If I had my choice I would of like them to cross at a 90 degree and to the stars so they would of stood out more. This is my first attempt at star trails with a digital camera. I have shot them on a film camera, but shooting them on a digital camera involves shooting multiple images and combining them later in software to avoid noise in the image. The noise happens because the sensor in the camera becomes hot as it is capturing the image. With film you can capture star trails with a single image. I used a Vello Shutter Boss to capture the multiple images. The Vello Shutter Boss is an interval timer that you can program to take multiple pictures. It can be used to create star trails, time lapse photography (which I plan to explore) and I imagine if you put your mind to work you could come up with many other creative ideas. It was an interesting and relaxing shoot. Set up the camera, use a flash light to focus, set the timer, paint the boat with a three cell Maglite and sit back in my chair and watch the meteor shower. Painting the boat with light added a little contrast and  punch to the boat. It warmed the color and added color contrast too. It also created a stronger reflection in the water. During the shoot I heard ducks, geese, owls and a few disturbing noises (gurgling and thumping what I would assume large pieces of driftwood hitting the shore). Once when checking my surroundings I looked over my shoulder I saw a very bright and long meteor disappear on the horizon. About 180 degrees from the shower I was watching. Made me wish I had my camera pointed in that direction. At one point about 3am someone came to the store ran a few compressors and left. The drive there and back was nice too I saw a dozen or so deer each way. I learned quite a bit too I had the lens of my camera fog up (about 20 minutes of the shoot was unusable shots) otherwise the trails would of been longer. I don't know of a solution but will be looking into it. I also would like a stronger flash light for light painting and always have extra batteries so the beam is nice and strong. I had dressed very warm and was very comfortable. The only thing that got cold after a while was my fingers and toes. I had two shirts, two jackets, sweat pants covered by jeans, wool socks, I don't know what it is called but it's thick has a hole and goes over your head and covers your neck and shoulders and ski mask. It was near or below freezing. I could probably used a hand warmer. I can't wait to to shoot more star trails and to do more night time photography. It is something I have always wanted to do but never took the time to do. Even though I did not get very many meteors it was worth it and I got to enjoy the show while I got a great shot.


This is a single frame with the boat where I did not paint the boat with light.

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