Thomas Heaton Shares How to Photograph a Meteor Shower

This weekend, the Perseid meteor shower is going to light up the northern hemisphere's night sky. Watch this video to learn how to photograph the spectacle.

August's new moon comes on the 11th, meaning completely dark skies will welcome the peak of the 2018 Perseid meteor shower. People in the northern hemisphere will be able to witness the astronomical show which will be best viewed late at night into predawn hours, when the sky is darkest. 

Besides a little luck and patience, Thomas Heaton offers extremely helpful insight to photograph a meteor shower. One simple tip that I really enjoy and is sometimes forgotten is to include a foreground. Some photographers simply aim their cameras at the sky to capture the action. But adding a foreground — a few trees, nice leading lines, or a telescope — will improve composition and create more interest in the final photograph.

Another very important thing to keep in mind is to stay up late enough. I've definitely went out to photograph a meteor shower and went to bed too early. I became disappointed because I didn't see much, but I really should've been more patient. Your best chance of seeing and photographing this weekend's Perseid meteor shower is from midnight until two or three in the morning when the sky is darkest. 

To improve your chance of seeing the meteor shower, it's also important to remember that you need to be in a dark location. It'd be best to travel to a place with little to no light pollution. Cities, towns, or houses that are miles away can still spill light into your photograph. 

Watch Heaton's video for more tips and happy shooting!

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Spy Black's picture

So pissed that we're cloud covered here in the northeast. tonight's the night to do it too.

Ralph Hightower's picture

I've heard of the "Rule of 500" and the "Rule of 600", but I haven't read an article discussing the merits of 500 or 600. I haven't done meteor photography yet; I've photographed the Space Station and Space Shuttle (when the fleet was flying). For the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, I used an intervalometer to automate the sequence of the eclipse; that may be handy for meteor showers.