shower the people
Since I live out in the boonies, I was given the assignment last night to try to shoot the Perseid meteor shower.
After photographing the Bears’ practice in far south suburban Bourbonnais, I was planning on heading west to get as far away from the city lights as possible and finding a barn or other structure to use as foreground to add to a sky full of meteors streaking past.
However, the assignment desk called and notified me that they had found out about a group called the South West Astronomy Observers Group who were going to be gathering at a hang gliding field in Chebanse, about 30 minutes southwest of Bourbonnais.
That information saved the assignment.
First off, I didn’t realize that this meteor shower would consist of, at tops, 100 meteors an hour.
Secondly, last night I only saw one or two every 5 minutes.
Thirdly, I didn’t have a tripod or cable release, so I was shooting 30-second exposures while resting my camera on my shoe that I had taken off and set on the ground.
The cool thing about the 30-second exposures was that I was able to get images of the activity of the group while still picking up some stars. As an added bonus, the astronomy buffs used little red lights to check their telescopes.
Despite all that, I still had a blast, learned a ton about the night sky and even though I failed to capture a meteor, I think that I captured the experience.
© 2009 Chicago Tribune/Scott Strazzante