The best place to photograph meteor showers is on the beach in a sheltered location. The sand will act as a natural light diffuser. To help you capture the best shots, try this:
1. Look for cloudless skies in the morning and early evening.
2. If possible, visit a place where there is no street lighting.
3. Find a quiet place away from people. You can try photographing in woodland, alongside a canal or beside a field. Try to find a place that doesn’t have trees overhead.
4. Find a spot where the horizon is level. This will ensure your photos will look straight and that the sky will appear the same size in each shot.
5. Remember to keep the shutter open for the full duration of the display.
6. Set the ISO to as low as possible to reduce noise. Choose a lower ISO if the meteor shower is overcast or overcast and cloudy.
7. Set the aperture to its widest setting and take several shots of the same meteor, varying the exposure time and moving the camera around the sky to get different angles.
8. When shooting, try to get the sky and the ground in focus. If the ground is out of focus, zoom in on the subject and adjust the exposure until the sky and the foreground are both in focus.
9. If you have the time, shoot multiple exposures to create a surreal image.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could use a telescope to take sharper photos.
Other Meteors Showers Photography Tips
In order to photograph meteors, first you need to find the meteor shower. There are two main types, those that appear to radiate from the center of the sky (radiant showers) and those that are located away from the Sun (slow moving showers). Both are usually found near the constellation called Leo. The slow moving ones are most easily seen at the end of winter and beginning of spring. They come from a region that is sometimes called the Leonid shower and there are many different ones. They can produce fireballs and shooting stars. Radiants are usually seen in the summer, when the Earth is closest to the Sun and the radiant of the Leonid shower can be found in the constellation Orion. In the summer, the radiants appear in the morning or evening skies. The meteors are often brighter and slower than in other seasons.
If you want to photograph a meteor shower, you need a telescope. You can purchase one from a hobby shop. Some of the more expensive models are better than others and you will need to find the one that suits you best. The one you choose should be able to see well through to the sky and focus the image properly. To use the telescope, you will need to know the coordinates of the shower. You can obtain these by finding your location on a map. If you have a GPS receiver, you can download the data directly onto your device and then transfer the information to a spreadsheet program or document.
Once you have obtained the coordinates, you need to calculate the position of the meteor shower. For this you will need to use the right ascension and declination.
You will need to use the right ascension, declination, altitude, and speed of the meteor to find its coordinates.
It is possible to use a camera to photograph the meteors. However, this is a specialized and advanced skill and is beyond the scope of this book.
If you are interested in taking photographs, you can do so by using your smartphone.
Meteor showers are best photographed using a tripod. They are best photographed when the moon is on the opposite side of the Sun to the Earth. This is known as ‘Moonlight’ photography.
When you are photographing meteors, it is important that you use a large aperture. The larger the aperture, the larger the image will be. The minimum aperture you need to use will depend on your camera.