Categories & Keywords

Subcategory:Night Sky
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:2012, perseids, perseid meteor shower, meteors, meteor shower, stars, sky, milky way, snowy range, snowies, wyoming, lake marie, mountains, asteroids, comets, astrophotography, night photography, dark skies, constellations, moonlight, august, summer, night
Snowy Range Perseids

Snowy Range Perseids

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For the 2012 Perseids meteor shower I knew I wanted to create a unique nightscape, to achieve this I needed dark skies free of light pollution and a moonlit landscape in the perfect orientation with the constellation Perseus. After many hours of scouting I found my location in South central Wyoming in the Medicine Bow National Forest, an area known as 'Snowy Range'. The skies in this area were some of the darkest I have seen in my lifetime, the stars shined with a brightness that is indescribable, and the milky way clearly visible to the naked eye. I set up my Nikon D700 to capture 30 second exposures at ISO 3200 with an aperture of f2.8 on my Rokinon 14mm lens just as twilight was fading away. I spent the next 7 hours taking continuous photos until the sun rose. I captured 22 meteorites and an iridium flare, in Photoshop I overlaid all of the shots with meteors, rotated them based on Polaris to correct their orientation as Perseus moved through the night, then masked out everything except the meteors to reveal a stationary field of stars. To complete the composite I added one frame from sunrise to brighten areas of the foreground because the moonlight was blocked by a large group of trees for the entire night. An incredible night to not be forgotten.