"last night i went out to snowy range [in medicine bow national forest, south central wyoming] in search of dark skies for the perseid meteor shower. the skies in this area were some of the darkest i have seen in my lifetime. the stars shined with a brightness that is indescribable. i wanted something special for the foreground and i knew the snowies faced in the perfect direction to get this shot.
"i set up my nikon d700 to capture 30 second exposures at ISO 3200 with an aperture of f2.8 on my rokinon 14mm lens just as twilight was fading away. i started shooting at 10pm and didn’t stop until 5am. i had to change my battery every 2 hours which made for a long night. the moon rose around 1am to light up the mountain range.
"i captured 22 meteorites and an iridium flare. in photoshop i overlaid all of the shots with meteors, rotated them based on polaris to correct their orientation as perseus moved through the night, then masked out everything except the meteors to reveal a stationary field of stars. (this took forever!) i [then] added one frame from sunrise to brighten areas of the foreground because the moonlight was blocked by a large group of trees for the entire night.
"i had a great night which was made even better because i spent it with my newly adopted dog emmie. she was a trooper! an indcredible night not to be forgotten."- photo and text (stitched together from his two accounts) by david kingham
(the perseids meteor shower will be visible august 11 and 12)