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Perseid Meteor Shower 2010 | by Gary Randall
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Perseid Meteor Shower 2010

This is a reprocessed version of the meteor shower photo that I made last year. Although the image was really cool, I haven't really been able to be completely happy with it artistically. I have tried processing it several different ways and I still fall short in my satisfaction with the image.


If you missed this shot from last year this is a good chance to check out a photo that took about eight hours to make.


This is a composite that took 360 images taken as 30 second exposures over a three hours period of time. It then took another four, or more, hours to process.


The photo was featured on Google and the Goddard NASA web site. It was also featured in a presentation by Yahoo last year of the years biggest news stories.


I still am not completely happy with the image, but I think I'm getting closer.


The tricks that made this shot were to be patient for three hours as the camera snapped away its 30 second exposures first, and then in post processing to sort through the 300+ images to separate the frames that held a meteor, and then to mask out all but the meteor in the shots prior to layering them onto the base image. But that wasn't the end of the process.


Once the meteors were layered over the base image I had to rotate them to align with their point of origin. Over the course of three hours the Earth rotates and so the point of origin changes. To correct for this I had to use Polaris as a pivot point and then to compute the time in relationship to the position and then rotate the meteor to correspond with that position.


The point of origin is close to the position of the galaxy Perseus, thus the name of the meteor shower.


In all there is over 8 hours of time spent to create this image.


Thank you for the thoughtful comments.

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Taken on August 13, 2010