September 9: Watch the Epsilon Perseids meteor shower, 8 – 9pm
4 Tips for Taking Meteor Shower Photography
With the Perseids Meteor Showering having just happened, it made me realize it might be a good idea to make an article about how to take some good photos for the next one: the Epsilon Perseids meteor shower on 9/9. Here are 4 strategies to try:
- Get away from Light Pollution
When taking photos of the night sky, your biggest enemy is ambient light. This can come from numerous different light sources. Anything from homes, to streetlights, cars, and cities, all of these can impact the quality of our photos. My suggestion is to get as far away from the city as you can. The absolute best location to see faint stars and meteors is at least 20-30 miles away from city limits.
- Use a Tripod
This is one of the most important items you need besides your camera to get high quality photos. By using a tripod, you have the ability to keep your camera steady for your long exposure shots, while also being able to set up that perfect composition
- Use a Wide-Angle Lens
Using a wider-angle lens, anything from 35mm and under, are perfect for taking night sky photography in general as they allow you to capture as much of the Milky Way and those beautiful stars as you can. You do want to be careful of going too wide if you don’t want to get lens distortion though. Also make sure you are using the 500 rule when setting your shutter speed. Basically take 500 and divide it by the length in millimeters of your lens and the resulting number is the shutter speed you should use if you don’t want star trails.
- Manually Focus your Lens
Make sure you set your focus around the infinity limit. You will need to test around with a few shots to make sure your stars are in perfect focus.
At the end of the day, go out, have fun, and experiment to find what things work best for you!
Have more questions? Schedule a 1-on-1 in-person photo class at the Shutterbug (1 hr for $45) online or in-store! Need to rent a camera? Give us a call for availability at (503) 639-5088.