Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 35: Meteor Shower

This weekend was the Orionid meteor shower. I was pretty excited for it and thought it would be a great opportunity to try and get some star photos with meteors streaking through. Back in August I was out in Colorado for another meteor shower and was pretty disappointed by the lack of meteors. I had high hopes for this one. It was supposed to peak between 4am and dawn on Sunday morning with meteors once every minute.

Bound and determined I got myself up and out of the house around 2:30. The shower was supposed to originate from Orion's belt, so I picked some places that would have a good view of Orion and some interesting scenery. I was out until about 4am and didn't see a single meteor, boo. But there were an incredible amount of stars out, so I figured I would take advantage. Here's what I came away with. Only four shots this week, but better than nothing and I'm pretty happy with the four shots.

 I started out at the prairie thinking that scenery would make a nice backdrop with the stars. I was wrong. The shots just weren't working. I got some good stars, but there was really no subject, just boring trees and land. Undeterred, I had an idea. I've taken some shots out at a random cemetery out in the country and thought I could get some good shots there. So I packed up and tried to find an unmarked cemetery, in the dark, at 3:30am. After driving past it 4 times, I finally found it.

This first photo is more for the creepiness factor. Nothing like hanging out in the middle of a cemetery, in the middle of the night, with a bloody Jesus. I liked the composition of this one, but would have preferred if that tree wasn't there on the right.

I was quite happy with how this turned out. The hard thing about night photography is trying to frame things when you can't really see anything through the viewfinder. Luckily I had my headlamp with me, so I was able to use that to light of the sign, get it all framed, then turn it off and take the photo. 

This is easily my favorite of the bunch. I love the framing and composition and the fact that I was able to get a hint of the disk of the Milky Way. Plus the church looks kind of castley, which gives the whole shot a very old European look. If I have the patience I might re-visit this location and use it for some time-lapse shots. Could be very cool.

This one has nothing to do with the previous shots, but it's one I took the weekend before and really liked. I really like HDR when it captures what you see in real life. This was an instance where I just couldn't get the depth and range of color in a single shot, the way I saw it with my eye. Taking three shots and combining them really allowed me to capture things the way I saw it. And it doesn't hurt that the colors were beautiful out at the prairie to begin with. 

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