A Night with the Perseids


Just a quick post. As most of the world knows, the peak for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower was this morning August 12, 2016. Many said it was a fantastic show. It was nice, but I wouldn’t say it was one of the best I saw.

Milky Way Above Baker

Milky Way & Mount Baker - The Milky Way over Mount Baker during Perseids Meteor Shower on Friday morning Aug. 8, 2016, as seen from Artist Point near Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Milky Way & Mount Baker – The Milky Way over Mount Baker during Perseids Meteor Shower on Friday morning Aug. 8, 2016, as seen looking south from Artist Point near Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

I went up to Artist Point near the Mount Baker Ski Area to photograph the blazing comet debris. While driving I saw at least a dozen bright ones. But honestly, I was slightly disappointed after I arrived. There did not seem to be very many bright ones.  A lot of faint streakers, but not bright.

Flaring Over Shuksan

Perseids and Mount Shuksan - A lone meteor flares over Mount Shuksan during the 2016 Perseids Meteor Shower on Friday morning Aug. 8, 2016, at Picture Lake near Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Perseids and Mount Shuksan – A lone meteor flares over Mount Shuksan during the 2016 Perseids Meteor Shower on Friday morning Aug. 8, 2016, at Picture Lake near Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

The most vivid meteor shower I have seen was the Leonids in 2001. I had been at The Aspen Times for two months and really didn’t know much about the area. A local, whose name I can’t remember, suggested Midnight Mine Road up to Little Annie Basin. From there, I was witnessing about 1 every 5 seconds. But I didn’t shoot much. Only 1/2 a roll of Fujifilm 400. I mainly went up to enjoy the show.

Piercing the Pleiades

Streaker by Pleiades Cluster - A meteor streaks by the Pleiades during the Perseids Meteor Shower on Friday morning Aug. 8, 2016, at Artist Point near Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Streaker by Pleiades Cluster – A meteor streaks by the Pleiades during the Perseids Meteor Shower on Friday morning Aug. 8, 2016, as seen looking northeast from Artist Point near Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

In the photos, there is a slight greenish glow. While shooting, I received several alerts on my phone that the KP index was going to 4 or 5. The green glow is the aurora borealis.

TIPS:

  • Plan your spots during the day. This give you a better idea of the terrain and the silhouettes.

  • RED HEADLAMP: When you arrive, take about 10 to 15 minutes after you set up your camera to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Use a red headlamp to help you see. Red does not affect your night vision.

  • Use a GOOD tripod. Spend money on a good solid tripod. Tripods last for years when taken care of properly.

  • Use a remote trigger and the camera’s timer. This prevents camera shake. Also, some cameras have an “Exposure Delay Mode.” This brings up the mirror then after a brief pause to diminish vibrations, opens the shutter.

To view more photos of the Pacific Northwest, view the page Images of the Great Pacific Northwest.

To see more of my recent newspaper work, visit the galleries at My Work for the Bellingham Herald.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Don’t forget to sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
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Paul Conrad is an award-winning photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

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