August 12, 2008
Perseid Meteor Shower
Last night was the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower. I set up my Canon EOS 40D on a tripod with the Sony laptop driving the camera via a USB cable. I programmed it to take a 30 second exposure at 35 second intervals with ISO set to 1000 and the aperture wide open (f/4.0). I had the camera transfer the image to the laptop via USB. I ran an extension cord out into the yard to power the laptop, and for the camera, I just used a battery grip that doubles the number of batteries in the frame.
Then, I shared the laptop files over my wireless LAN and monitored the results from inside the house. I know. I'm a geek. Can't help myself.
Then, I set my alarm clock for 5:30 a.m. and went to sleep, praying that it wouldn't rain. I got up at 5:30 and broke everything down. Tonight, I looked at my images, and I did, in fact, manage to snap a few shots of meteors.
I used a program called JPGVideo to convert the .jpg images into a video. However, some of the deep sky photos seemed somewhat underexposed, so I created an action to increase the brightness and contrast on some of the images using Adobe Photoshop CS3 in batch mode. Here's a Photoshop Batch tutorial I found useful. Finally, I used Windows Movie Maker to merge the .avi files and add the Pink Floyd soundtrack.
If, for some reason, you can't get the YouTube version to play, or if you just want to see a higher resolution video than the one on YouTube, try this (10 megs).
Posted by Rob Kiser on August 12, 2008 at 11:19 PM
TrackBack URL for this entry:>
Thank you. That was great. Feel like I was on the couch next to you.
Posted by: rob on August 14, 2008 at 4:15 PM