Sunday, August 13, 2006

Meteors

One aspect of night photography that never fails to surprise me is how unexpected things show up in your photographs after you've finished shooting, returned home, and either downloaded or processed your shots. These gremlins find their way into your shots because it's so difficult to see clearly through the viewfinder at night. One friend of mine had a reputation for unexpectedly capturing orange construction cones in his shots. Sometimes this phenomenon can ruin a shot. Other times, something unexpected can improve a shot.

(photo: Andy Frazer)

Last week I was south of Mono Lake in a burned out forest of Jeffrey pines shooting star trails. I remember seeing at least three or four shooting starts per night, but none of them were either within range of my camera, nor appearing while I had my shutter open. In fact, when I was at Olmstead Point, I had just finished a twelve-minute exposure when an awesome meteor skipped and streaked across the sky right in front of my lens. I missed that one by about ten seconds.

But, this morning I was looking through some of my photographs from the weekend and I noticed that one of them had caught a shooting star. That was the first time it ever happened for me!
(close-up of the previous shot)

With more than 30 people shooting over four nights, I wonder if any other photographers are going to discover shooting starts in their shots?

2 Comments:

Anonymous wirehead arts said...

I've seen several shooting stars while out shooting.

But the camera has always been pointed in the wrong direction or with the shutter closed. :(

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Ed.A said...

Hi Andy,
Awesome site.
I've captured a few meteors, and they all seem to have a smooth increase and slightly faster decrease in intensity, and with a uniform color like orange or green.

Because of the white color, constant brightness, and then a quick blue flash, I wonder if you might have captured a reflection off of the International Space Station solar panels, just before it went into shadow.

If you have the date and time the photo was taken, you might try seeing if you get a match with one of the free satellite path prediction tools.

I do night photos in SF, and your work is an inspiration.

Thank You!
Ed.A

12:42 PM  

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