Saturday, August 14, 2010

Perseids 2010 – Second night, 5 more sightings!

Well, after the spectacular 12 sightings on 12 August, I thought maybe it would be an idea to try again on 13 August with the Tamron 28-75 at 28mm. So out I went, back to the same location. And I managed 5 more sightings, including two absolutely spectacular burning meteors. I caught three meteors on film, but I don;t think I saw two of them, so there were a surprising number of meteors out there, considering the time of day (evening is not as good as early morning) and the direction (north east is better than south west.) I sure hope you all got out to have a look …

Unfortunately, on night two the Milky Way was barely visible due to hazy skies and some wispy clouds that show up all too well on film. Processing can mitigate the issues, but the images are not as vivid as night one’s images were.

I also decided to reprocess night one and change the white balance to more of a blue-ish tint, more accurately reflecting the way things looked out there. Remember that I am shooting high ISO and very low exposures, so I don’t exactly get a ton of data on the sensor … I have to spend a lot of time boosting what I get using layers with screen blend and levels and so on. I also have to run noise reduction because even the incredible D700 can generate a great deal of noise if you lift shadows enough.

So I will show you the six images in order of capture … the first three form night one, where the seeing was simply amazing … and the last three from night two, where the haze was depressingly strong …

As always, click on the images to see the 800px versions …

DSC_5026_perseids_2010b[1] DSC_5034_perseids_2010b[1]

The following streak was very faint and pulled up a lot of stars when processed.


Everything on night 2 is fainter … and because of the much wider angle, the streaks are smaller and there is light pollution along the bottom …

DSC_5108_perseids_2010[1] DSC_5144_perseids_2010[1] The last one was literally my last meteor shot of the night … I don’t even think I saw this one, as it was just above the horizon … my 5 sightings probably did not count two of these three shots!

This one is also a crop, as the light pollution was brutal (bottom left corner.) And watch for the two airplane tracks in the top half of the image … until I examined it very closely, I thought I had a miracle shot with three meteors … but no, the top two have faint images of regularly flashing lights :-)


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