August brings the utmost time of the Perseid meteor shower and nothing can be more exciting and wonderful than witnessing those bright heavenly bodies painting the sky overhead. This is a remarkable opportunity not just to witness in person, but also take photographs of the bright meteors, spurts of fireballs, and the amazing Swift-Tuttle comet.
This year, the peak of the Perseids Meteor Shower will be on Monday, August 12 and Tuesday, August 13 with NASA revealing that viewers may be able to see around 15 to 20 meteors per hour during the peak.
Are you a photographer that's ecstatic for this annual sky event as a first-time shooter? Find out what you need to get the best shots of the fantastic Perseid meteor shower below.
Bring Your Best Camera
Almost any camera can be used when capturing photos of meteors, but it's all about how you use it. To not only capture the dark sky, but still stay focused on the bright lights and colors, make sure it has manual exposure control capability. You might want to consider using camera with larger sensors for low light photography, such as a DSLR camera, which is the most flexible when it comes to photographing the sky.
Pick the Right Lense
Meteor chasers are recommended to use fast, wide-angle lenses during the main event, such as an 18-mm f/2 lens. Ultra-wide angle lenses allow you to have a wider field of view to cover more of the sky and catch the best streaks of the meteors. Fast prime lenses are also an important investment being that the faster the lens, the greater chance you will capture fainter meteors that are hard to pick up on camera. Too high of an f/ratio will make you miss most eye-naked meteors.
The newest wide field lenses with maximum aperture f/1.4 to f/2.0 are the best lens to use for this year's shower, which is offered by brands such as Samyang, Rokinon and the new Sigma Art.
Use a Tripod
There's a high chance your arms may get tired and your hands start to tremble as you await for the perfect shot. Photographing the Perseid meteor shower requires long exposures, so you can use a tripod to avoid shaking, as clear shots are certainly not always guaranteed.
Gone are the old days of lots of films and good luck in taking photographs of significant meteor showers. We owe a lot to digital photography and its latest revolution that we are able to capture great photos of these heavenly bodies entering our planet’s atmosphere.
Be sure to mark your calendars for early next week, grab your camera and research some of our lenses before you start this adventure!