Top tips for capturing the upcoming meteor shower
Photography expert Will Eades (@willeadesphotography) shares his top tips for capturing the meteor shower below!
While meteor showers are visible from all over Earth, the Perseids are best seen from the northern hemisphere. The dazzling Perseid meteor shower is set to peak on August 13.
With the constant spectacle of nature’s wonders, from lightning bolts to meteor showers and fireballs, there’s never been a better time to ensure we capture these epic moments in the best way possible. But how can you make sure you take the best photo at the best time possible to capture those meaningful moments in nature? As a storm expert and nature photographer, I’d like to share my top tips for capturing meteor shower from my experience.
1. Get to know the meteor shower
Initially, you want to know when a meteor shower will peak – the night should produce the most meteors. This can be achieved using astro apps such as ‘Skyguide’ to help you plan your evening and compose your shot. I also use ‘Windy’ to predict how clear the night will be. In an ideal world, we want to work with clear and dark skies for best results. Take a headlamp when installing in dark places.
2. Always Shoot Astro
Using the fastest lens possible, always shoot in astro. The Nikon f/2.8 and f/1.8 give amazing results for astro thanks to their superior light gathering capabilities. Going from Nikon f/1.8 to f/2.0, or f/2.2 for example, will reduce vignetting.
3. Use an ultra-wide lens
Take photos with an ultra-wide lens to capture more of the sky and increase your chances of a meteor landing in the frame. I use the Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and the Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S for the majority of my astro work.
4. Have a solid setup
When setting up your photography area, you want to mount your camera on a sturdy tripod, get it in focus, and then turn off your autofocus before you start shooting.
5. Check your shutter speed
A shutter speed of 20 seconds or more is best to improve your chances of capturing a meteor. Any longer and you might start seeing star trails as the Earth spins on its axis. To counter this, I use a star catcher, which allows me to push my exposure time to 2-3 minutes.
6. Adjust your ISO settings
The ISO should be high to capture the early low light. I would recommend ISO4000 or better on a standard tripod setup, and ISO800 – ISO1600 on a star tracking mount.