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"Geminids Meteor Shower" - January's SNAP of the month

Updated: 7 days ago

The Geminids Meteor Shower is visible from Earth every single year. It is caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is believed to be a Palladian asteroid caught in Saturn’s Orbit. It’s named this way as the meteors seem to radiate from the constellation of Gemini.


I was so happy we decided to venture out the second night!

After a very early start the morning before we finally got to my chosen shot location and the wind was high and cloud cover was extensive…NOT good conditions to try and spot meteors, never mind trying to capture them on my camera. It’s safe to say that my camera didn’t even come out the bag. Although, we did manage to see the odd glimpse of a few meteors through the gaps in the cloud. It was back to bed.

Reluctantly we set our alarms again the next morning and headed out to the same spot. This time there was little wind and to our delight there was very little cloud cover. I set up my camera and tripod once we had waited for the moon to completely disappear below the horizon to avoid any light pollution.


Once I was happy with the level of exposure, I set my camera off taking shots continuously using the settings you can find below. (Any questions on this please do let me know).


The peak of the shower lasted around 45 minutes so once the number of meteors had reduced per hour we decided to call it a night (or early morning in this case…). With around 100 shots I was excited to see how many meteors I had been able to capture. Some of them I knew would have been lost due to the light pollution from a small industrial area close by and others that I saw on the night I also knew would have been outside the frame chosen.


Once I had filtered through the series of shots highlighting any with meteors in them I stacked all of these in PS. Once edited I was left with my final composition.

Given the conditions and the level of light pollution I had to deal with I was really happy with the final results. I have had so many messages about the process I used in order to stack these images so I have listed this in more detail below. I hope this is helpful.


Any questions please do let me know, thanks again for all the support!


Processing & Editing Steps:

Below are the main steps taken to create my composite image using the 100+ shots taken throughout the night. I have also listed below two links to really useful videos that will help run through my process used with some additional tips in there too.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cTMJHxYdS2g

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WlR-XrDhRIE

  • Add all images into Lightroom and filter out any without meteors.

  • Determine favourite shot that will be the main part of your composite. I often opt for the shot that has the brightest, largest and sharpest meteor in it. Or you may want to focus on the one with the best foreground etc.

  • For all other shots at this point I look to increase the exposure slightly to ensure all the meteors are visible clearly.

  • Open all of these in Photoshop as layers.

  • Drag your 'chosen' image to the bottom of the list of images to make sure this is the main part of your composite.

  • Using the 'add layer mask' & 'brush tool' mask in each meteor so that only the meteor for all remaining layers is visible.

  • Select blend mode 'Lighten' for all layers to blend each meteor into one composite.

  • Final edits in Lightroom before exporting the finished composite.