November 27, 2014, 02:05:40 AM

Author Topic: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?  (Read 1291 times)

lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:18:52 PM »
I'm planning on trying to photograph a meteor shower for the first time. I've checked, and there should be dark moonless skies for the nights of the 22nd and 23rd April (UK).  I have a 5d3 and am planning to use my 17-40 lens. I have a tripod, a Hahnel Giga T Pro II wireless remote, a spare battery and warm clothing!  :) Unfortunately, I won't be able to totally avoid light pollution, but am prepared to just have a go and see what I can do, assuming that there will be some clear skies.

What settings should I use on camera/lens/remote? Any other pertinent advice?
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

canon rumors FORUM

photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:18:52 PM »

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 02:09:58 PM »
When I photograph stars for either a star trails photo or a time lapse, I usually shoot with my Rokinon 14mm at f/2.8, ISO 1250 & 13s shutter speed.  I have a wired cable release, I just leave it to always on, so it takes one photo after another.  At 13 seconds, the stars haven't moved that much to be visible at 14mm.  If you want to use that same shutter speed, you'll need to double the ISO as your 17-40 will leave you with f/4.  The noise does clean up pretty well though for night photography, so you can probably get away with it.

I recommend going out and taking some test photos of the stars this week and perfecting the technique.  This should get you started.  I have a Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 lens I'm going to try out and see if I like that lens more than my 14mm for night photography.  I should take it out tonight and get test it before the meteor shower.


lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 02:52:47 PM »
Thanks, that gives me something to start with! So for star trails (and,  I'd guess, for capturing several meteors), you recommend combining multiple shots with software rather than a long bulb exposure.  Software - Deep Sky Tracker?
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 07:11:40 PM »
Thanks, that gives me something to start with! So for star trails (and,  I'd guess, for capturing several meteors), you recommend combining multiple shots with software rather than a long bulb exposure.  Software - Deep Sky Tracker?

Ugh, don't try to do long exposures to get star trails.  I tried that route and almost gave up entirely on the dream of ever getting them.  You start getting all sorts of sensor noise with long photos (even with ISO 100). Then there's the steady light pollution which overpowers the stars which move through the exposure, leaving only the very brightest stars left. 

When I gave up trying to do a star trails photo, I switched to timelapse photos of the stars moving.  Later I came across an article which mentioned the free StarTrails software you can download which will stack a whole bunch of photos together into a single photo.  It's much faster and less resource intensive than Photoshop's feature which does the same thing.  I think the results look better too.  Anyway, I downloaded that and fed it my stack of photos from my time lapse session and found photos like these:

 Stars and mirrors by yorgasor, on Flickr

lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 07:20:37 AM »
Thanks for the great advice.  I've ordered a Samyang 14mm (I'd already been considering it, and as Sigma UK have priced the Sigma 50mm Art ar approx $1440 US... looks like Samyang get my money  :) )
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 11:04:55 AM »
Good luck with your clear skies.  It just clouded over here, and it's expected to be that way for the next several days :(  Clouds botched my blood moon photo op too.  Grrr.

lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 11:19:02 AM »
Good luck with your clear skies.  It just clouded over here, and it's expected to be that way for the next several days :(  Clouds botched my blood moon photo op too.  Grrr.

The weather has been strangely pleasant this last couple of weeks, but it is forecast to get cloudy and rainy for the 22nd and 23rd! We'll see...

And thank you again!
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

canon rumors FORUM

Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 11:19:02 AM »

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 02:05:01 PM »
I had clear skies last night and ran my camera for about an hour.  I used the StarTrails software to make this.  Unfortunately, I don't see any meteors in it :(

Golden Tree - Star Trails by yorgasor, on Flickr

lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 02:25:53 PM »
It still whets my appetite to have a go!  My lens isn't due to arrive until between the 23rd and 25th, so I may still be using my 17-40.

Another couple of questions for you - do you use a correction profile for the 14mm (Lightroom) and have you considered using a reversed ND grad to cut down land-based light sources and light pollution?
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 11:01:12 PM »
I tried to get a correction profile for the lens loaded into Lightroom.  I couldn't ever get it to work, but I wasn't as diligent as I could've been. 

A reverse ND filter is a great idea, I hadn't thought of it.  It won't work on the 14mm Rokinon though, it has a bulbous front end and no filter threads.  They do have some kind of filter attachment system for it, but the cost is more than I'm interested in.

lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 11:58:51 AM »
Yes, I agree on the specialised adapter - Though I do have some Lee grads that may be wide enough to be blue-tacked to the hood. I'll try it when the lens arrives.

There's a lightroom profile on p.12 of the thread following Dustin Abbott's review of the lens, posted by mrsfotograhie, I don't know if it works yet, obviously!

Looking a little further ahead - on 24th May, we MAY get a meteor storm with several hundred meteors per hour!!! It's called 209P-ids, if you want to google it.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 12:02:36 PM by lintoni »
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 07:55:16 PM »
Looking a little further ahead - on 24th May, we MAY get a meteor storm with several hundred meteors per hour!!! It's called 209P-ids, if you want to google it.

Wow!  I can't wait to see the clouds come in that night too!  I'm almost psychic, I can tell whether it's going to be cloudy on certain nights months ahead of time, just based on how spectacular the astrological events are supposed to be.  *sigh*

yorgasor

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 02:39:31 PM »
Ok, I spent several hours over the last couple nights taking photos and gazing at the stars.  I saw a whole, whopping 0 meteors.  My daughter was with me one night, she said she saw a couple (one was just after I packed up my camp chair and started walking to the car, of course).

If you look closely in the third photo, on the left side, halfway between the top and the middle of the photo, you can see a faint, short horizontal streak caused by a meteor.  So, at least my camera saw one.

Trees-StarTrails by yorgasor, on Flickr

Mirror-StarTrails by yorgasor, on Flickr

Bridge-StarTrails by yorgasor, on Flickr

canon rumors FORUM

Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 02:39:31 PM »

lintoni

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2014, 03:03:15 PM »
 ;D That's better than I managed!

Advice for photographing meteor showers?

1. Arrange for meteors to fall when there is not 100% cloud coverage, complete with heavy rain... 


Oh well, my lens arrives tomorrow, so it least I'll have a chance to play with it before the next shower is due!
EOS 5D iii, EOS 5, EOS 30, EF17-40L, EF24-105L, EF100-400L, EF100 f/2.8 macro, Samyang 14 f/2.8, 550EX, Magic Lantern

AcutancePhotography

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1120
    • View Profile
Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2014, 08:07:48 AM »
Good luck on getting some nice shots of this shower.  They can be tricky. 

When I think about photographing a meteor shower, only one word comes to my mind -- Triffids.   ;D
I shoot with a Camera Obscura with an optical device attached that refracts and transmits light

canon rumors FORUM

Re: photographing Lyrid meteor shower -advice?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2014, 08:07:48 AM »