Have you ever seen a shooting star? How about a meteor shower? Well, the culmination of one of the biggest meteor showers of the year will be happening on August 12th (and days leading up to it). It is called the Perseid Meteor Shower and I actually has been an annual event that happens the first part of August each year. Folks in North America can expect to see 80 meteors an hour, which is a pretty good rate for doing some stargazing and wishing upon a shooting stars. If you want to try your hand at photographing some of these shooting stars (and possibly turning them into fine art canvas prints) then there are a few steps you should take to give you the best chance at getting the best shot or shots.
What you will need for this photo project:
So you have everything. Now we need to get everything set up to. First, set up your tripod so that it is on sturdy ground and won't move or shake when you press the shutter button on your camera. Stability is extremely important with getting the shot. Now we need to set up our camera for the right settings. Put your camera in manual focus mode and set the focus to infinity. That way you don't have to worry about your camera trying to auto focus on a black sky. Set your aperture to around f4 to f8, and set your ISO at 100 (you can play around with that). ISO 100 will mean longer shutter times, but it will also give you a better quality photo with less noise in the photo. This translates to better fine canvas prints or photos when you enlarge your work. Next set your shutter speed to B or Bulb setting and attach your shutter release cable.
Now you can aim your camera at a portion of the sky and make sure all your tripod knobs are tight. Get your lawn chair or blanket out and start clicking. You will be taking long exposures. We are talking 30 seconds to a minute. If you find you are getting too much streaking from the stars then you can either increase your ISO or decrease your aperture (or both) to reduce the length of your exposure.
Excellent! Let's imagine you have captured several shooting stars, but there is only one per frame. Well, if you are skilled in Photoshop you can combine all of your images to create one photo that has multiple meteor streaks in it. Since you shot on a tripod and didn't move the tripod (hopefully) then you can layer the different frames you captured and erase everything but the shooting stars from each photo you captured. You will end up with a night sky full of streaking meteors. Take a look at David Kingham's photo and his description on how he pulled it off.
When you are ready to sell your fine art canvas prints to a gallery you know who to call to print your work right? Give Canvas Press a call at 888.784.5553 if you ever need help or have questions about how to get started.