In late July, which means this coming weekend, the Delta Aquariid meteor shower will peak. For stargazing photographers it’s a great chance to capture a few shooting stars since the maximum hourly rate can reach 15 to 20 meteors.
Yes, your task this week will be to create a beautiful night sky shot, ideally with a piece of glowing space crap in it.
So what can you do to document the decisive moment? (- Though I shouldn’t really use the term here.)
First of all, escape the city and find a place with less light pollution. Thankfully websites such as lightpollutionmap.info tell you where to go. Second, and that’s tricky, be sure the weather plays along.
Of course, you can use a smartphone instead of a “real” camera though the lack of manual controls could make it harder to get the best out of the shot. Applications like NightCap Pro and Slow Shutter Cam for iOS as well as Open Camera and Camera FV-5 for Android should be able to give you back control. However, modern smartphone devices normally have a time-lapse feature on board which is a handy tool for this kind of task.
For those who use a DSLR or a smart device with photographic powers, here are the basics:
- use a tripod
- set focus to infinity
- go for the wide angle lens
- get your f-stop low (=fast, under 2)
In case your plan is to stay up all night, with nothing but the sky above you, also pack a blanket, some food and drinks and don’t forget the extra battery pack!
I’m wishing you lots of fun and that your wishes may come true!