Perseid Meteor Shower 2016 Score: Mosquitoes - 1, Kathy - 0

Posted by Kathleen Prince on August 14, 2016

August 12, 2016 was the second day of the Perseid Meteor Shower. Having missed shooting the first day (shame on me), I decided to gather up my equipment and set up a shoot on Aug 12th. Lounge chair? Check! Camera & tripod? Check! Extension cord for external camera power? Check! and so it went. The moon set at 1 AM, so I had some time to get things set up and to experiment with different settings to try to get those stars in focus. After trying my fixed 35mm 1.8 lens – which worked great gathering the light and reducing noise, I decided that I really needed a larger field of vision in order to maximize the chance of catching a meteor. I switched to my 11-16mm 2.8 lens, and bumped up the ISO to 400. About this time, those mosquitoes found me! It is monsoon season here in Arizona, and with that comes humidity, and mosquitoes. Ugh. Long sleeves and a fan helped keep them at bay, for a bit. I couldn’t wait for 1AM when the moon set, as then I could see those hundreds of meteors an hour that folks keep talking about. Well – I saw about 6 over the course of an hour. They were very cool, I must admit. But, of course, many weren’t where my camera was pointing! After an hour, the mosquitoes finally got to me and I headed inside. My camera was set to take shots automatically for 4 hours, so it faithfully clicked away all night. The shot here is a composite of the meteors captured over night. The scene? Looking out my back yard towards the 11th green of Poston Butte golf course, with Walker Butte on the left, Perseid Meteor Shower 12 Aug 2016and the lights of the Florence Hospital on the right.

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