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    Posted August 20, 2013 by
    Yosemite National Park, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Perseid Meteor & Milky Way

    Perseid Meteor & Milky Way
    Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA

    What a way to redeem a failed all-nighter the first time!

    On my first night I drove all the way out to the Racetrack in Death Valley to attempt some star trails that would hopefully have a few meteoroids in them. I found the perfect rock, set up my camera, got my focus and composition right and then sat down to wait for it to get dark. One it got dark, I took two 3-hour sets of 30 second exposures to try to get some shots (had to stop midway to change batteries and memory cards). When I was done for the night, I looked at the images and somehow I must have knocked my focus ring and not noticed it... EVERY SHOT WAS OUT OF FOCUS!!!!! And I know I had it right, because my test shots were fine.

    Anyway, after almost coming to tears and a 2.5 hour drive back to the hotel I went to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up, I decided to drive to Yosemite and at least get a nice Milky Way shot over Tenaya Lake. I didn't have to time to attempt another run of shot for star trails and figured that I missed out on my chance at a meteor because what are the chances of getting a meteor in the 10-15 shots I was going to expose.

    I set up with the composition I wanted, (shooting out over the lake to get a strong Milky Way reflection in the water) but there was a lot of car headlights in the shot, there was a ton of airplane traffic, and that end of the Milky Way was pretty weak because the moon was still up. So I turned around and saw that the other end of the Milky Way was quite good and the moon was illuminating the rocks pretty nicely (plus there was no cars and few airplanes). I recomposed my shot and I took two exposures and in the middle of my third shot the sky just lit up with this HUGE meteor. Bigger than anything I saw the night before. I saw shooting on bulb and lost count of the time so I just guessed at how long to continue to expose... I wasn't even sure I got the meteor in the shot.

    After I was done with the exposure I looked in my LCD and just started screaming like a little kid on his birthday and dancing. I could not believe that I got one and that it perfectly paralleled the Milky Way. This made up for the utter and complete failure the night before. I could not wait to get home to develop it.
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