Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of spending 7 days in the beautiful country of Iceland, exploring the landscapes by day and hunting the Aurora by night. It was a truly wonderful experience and one I will never forget! I had never been on a holiday to somewhere cold before so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but with my thermal layers at the ready I headed out to have an adventure of a lifetime...
On Wednesday night, Perseids meteor shower was visible across the skies, and I was lucky enough to witness it! The meteors are the debris from Comet Swift Tuttle, and every year at the end of July/beginning of August Earth passes through the debris and this is when we see the meteors. I went out at 10pm and set up at Helsington Church along with quite a few other spectators. The sky looked amazing - no clouds at all so we had a perfectly clear view of the stars. At first, we didn't see any meteors so I spent some time setting up my camera and taking some test shots. Then we saw the International Space Station making its way across the skies some time around 10.30pm which was exciting! After that, more and more meteors started making an appearance but they were so quick it was difficult to get any photos! I set me camera up for a 10 minute exposure to try and capture some star trails and while it was doing its thing I lay down on a blanket to look for more meteors. Some of them were so huge they just looked like giant streaks of fire lighting up the skies - but I suppose that is what they are after all!
On Tuesday night I went up to a quiet lane near Brigsteer and Scout Scar to try out star trail photography. It was a lovely clear night so I took my tripod and set up facing away from the town to minimise light pollution as much as possible. I've tried photographing star trails a few times before, but this was the first time I got some reasonable results! I chose to frame my shot with part of the horizon in to give it some context, then I started shooting a few test shots to get the composition and the settings correct.
Test shot 1 - f/4.5, 10 sec, ISO 3200 (managed to catch a shooting star in this one!)
Test shot 2 - f/4.5, 30 sec, ISO 4000 (on a tripod)