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Every year, on one of the beau­ti­ful August nights, you can see an equal­ly remark­able nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­non — the Per­seid mete­or show­er. The mete­ors are called Per­sei­ds because the point from which they appear to fall when look­ing at the sky is in the con­stel­la­tion Perseus.

This year, the mete­or show­er will reach its peak on the morn­ing of August 12, 2021.

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- Under favor­able weath­er con­di­tions and the absence of urban illu­mi­na­tion, start­ing from mid­night and all night, you can observe up to 110 mete­ors per hour, or 1–2 mete­ors per minute! The Per­sei­ds promise to be the best mete­or show­er of the year, accord­ing to the Moscow Plan­e­tar­i­um.

Photographing a meteor shower

Find a dark place.

Although the Per­sei­ds are bright enough to be seen even with the naked eye, it is worth find­ing a place with low lev­els of light pol­lu­tion to ful­ly expe­ri­ence the grandeur of the moment.

Use the light pol­lu­tion map and find one of the dark­est places near you. That way you can see a lot more. There is also such a map from Dark Sky Place.

Is spe­cial equip­ment need­ed?

The best cam­era is the one you have, but when it comes to shoot­ing the Per­sei­ds, it’s use­ful to have a few spe­cif­ic things.

Renowned astropho­tog­ra­ph­er Bet­ti­maya Futt and founder of Women in Astropho­tog­ra­phy @womeninastro uses equip­ment such as the Canon 6D and Canon 5D Mark IV, Roki­non 24mm f/1.5 and Sig­ma 50mm f/1.4 lens­es, not to men­tion a tri­pod and inter­val­ome­ter, to shoot.

“I have found that 14 or 24mm lens­es are good and 24mm is even bet­ter, but I always try to mount two cam­eras so I don’t have to com­pro­mise,” she says.

- The inter­val­ome­ter is the key to time lapse, I set it to the short­est pos­si­ble inter­val because I want to make sure that I have as much time as pos­si­ble to cap­ture these mete­ors in the frame.

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Set spe­cial “astro­nom­i­cal” set­tings

Speak­ing of expo­sure, it’s impor­tant to get famil­iar with your astropho­tog­ra­phy set­tings before you start pho­tograph­ing the Per­seid mete­or show­er.

Try the fol­low­ing set­tings: shut­ter speed from 20 to 30 sec­onds, ISO from 2000 to 6400 depend­ing on the aper­ture, which try to make as wide as pos­si­ble.

Prepar­ing for pho­tog­ra­phy

Cap­tur­ing a mete­or show­er takes a lot more than just see­ing the gor­geous scenery and point­ing the cam­era.

Do your recon­nais­sance bet­ter dur­ing the day when you have full periph­er­al vision, because in the dark, with the tun­nel view of your head­lamp, it’s dif­fi­cult.

In addi­tion to recon­nais­sance, do not for­get about your equip­ment. Do not take only one head­lamp with you, for exam­ple. Take two in case one burns out.

Tell some­one where you are going to go and when you plan to return. Also take a paper card in case your phone runs out of pow­er.

Don’t for­get things like bug spray if you’re shoot­ing out­doors.

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Down­load the ded­i­cat­ed app

Appli­ca­tions for astropho­tog­ra­phy abound, here are a few of them.

  • Stel­lar­i­um is a free appli­ca­tion for com­put­ers. It will show you the night sky on any day of the year through­out his­to­ry. You can spec­i­fy a day and time to see where dif­fer­ent objects, such as the Milky Way, were at a par­tic­u­lar moment.
  • SkySa­fari Pro will help you with plan­ning;
  • Pho­toPills is anoth­er use­ful tool that many astropho­tog­ra­phers rely on. With it, you will always find the right place on the star map;
  • Star Walk 2 is an app that will help you find a spe­cif­ic con­stel­la­tion or star in the sky and tell you their sto­ry. In addi­tion, by point­ing your phone’s cam­era at the sky, the app will show you which con­stel­la­tion is right in front of you.

Install a time­lapse and enjoy the views calm­ly

Time-lapse pho­tog­ra­phy gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cap­ture the moment and choose the best shot: the “set and for­get” method allows you not only to cap­ture the mir­a­cle of nature on cam­era, but also to enjoy it with your own eyes.

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