Photographing Meteor Showers


One of the best meteor showers of the year for photographers, the Geminids, will peak on the night of Friday Dec 13 and pre-dawn hours of Dec 14. Check out my article on how to photograph meteor showers! 

Photographing Meteor Showers

Happy Photographing!

Cheers, Jennifer

My Favorite Photography Resources

Photography Resources

Here are some of my favorite apps, sun and moon information, space weather and more! 

I hope you find this useful! 

Happy Star Trails, 



Sun and Moon

Apps: Sun Seeker, Sky Safari, LightTrac, Photographer’s Ephemeris, LightTrac, Clinometer

Sunrise and Sunset Times: or

Golden Hour:

The Photographer's Ephemeris as an app or computer:  

Date Services:

The Old Farmer's Almanac - Click on Sun or Phases of the Moon:



7 Timer: and click on Cloud Cover:

Clear Sky Chart:

Space Weather:



App: Aurora Forecast


Aurora Forecast:

Astronomy North:

Spaceweather solar flare activity:

Ovation Auroral Forcast NOAA:


Eclipses & Space & Moonbows:

Astronomy Picture of the Day 


Yosemite Moonbow:


Camera Operations

Canon Digital Learning Center: 

Crop Sensor Calculator: 


Dark Skies:

Light Pollution Photographs: 

International Dark-Sky Association IDA: 


Stars and Milky Way

Starry Nights is what I use and showed in class:   

Apps: Star Walk II- I showed this in class, Heavens Above, PhotoPills, Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day

Free software for viewing the location of the stars for both windows and Mac. 




Apps: Meteor Shower Calendar


Star Trail Stacking Software

Startails free software: take a dark frame with the same exposure, put lens cap on the camera, and it can use that to reduce noise.

StarStaX free software  


Long Exposure Calculator Apps: there are a number of free apps, as well as others for a fee. PhotoPills


Depth of Field Calculator and app

PhotoPills App


Focus Stacking Software:

Helicon Focus: Can use RAW files and saves as DNG file. 

Zerene Systems: Very precise with macro fine details. 


Check Out the Book

Photography Night Sky: A Field Guide for Shooting After Dark.

Print edition and  Kindle or More Info

Quick Tips To Photograph The Stars!


Yosemite National Park is just a few hours away from me and I love photographing there both by day and at night. I especially enjoy to shooting at night because people go to sleep, I felt as if I had the park all to myself. I photographed the image above in Yosemite National Park during the summer of 2010 at f/1.4, 20 second, ISO 1600, 24mm lens, Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Photographing the stars as points of light without star trails can really create a beautiful image. Our eyes see the Milky Way as a band of light in the sky and the camera picks up the colorful gases and more stars making the sky even more incredible. The digital camera allows for stars to be photographed at very high ISO with lower noise than with film cameras. Here are a few of my tips for photographing the stars:

What Lens to Use?

First, use a wide-angle lens, such as 14-35mm actual focal length. This will allow for less movement of the stars and keep them more as points of light. The longer the focal length of the lens, the faster the shutter needs to be to stop the action and have the stars as points of light.

What Shutter Speed?

Next, set the shutter speed around 15-30 seconds or less. I typically use 20 seconds with a 24mm lens on a full frame sensor. If you see movement in your images after reviewing them on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, then try using a faster shutter speed.

What Aperture is Best?

This will vary depending on how much light is in the sky. For a dark night, try a wide-open aperture to get as much light into the camera as possible such as f/2.8 or f/1.4. If you have moonlight, then you can set your aperture to f/4 or higher.

What ISO Setting?

It is important to set the ISO high enough to get a good exposure because you don't want to have to lighten the images in post processing which will increase the digital noise. I put the camera in manual metering mode and set the exposure so that it is on the plus side by one or two stops. For a very dark night without the moon, try using an ISO of 3200 or 6400 to get you in the ballpark for the exposure.

Where to Focus? 

Be sure to focus on the stars. The easiest way is auto focus on a distant object during the day and tape the lens or focus on the moon at night. Be sure turn off the auto focus so it doesn’t change while your shooting. Using live view is another way.

There is something very special about photographing at night with the beauty of the stars overhead. For me, it is both calming and peaceful. I hope by following my "quick tips to photograph the stars" you are able to take some amazing photographs.

Go Shoot the Stars!


During the day I scouted for a location to return to at night. I was photographing with my friend Chris and when we returned at night, he no longer wanted to shoot! I walked out into the river to a rock bed to get a close foreground element of the moving water. Chris said to me, "if you fall in the river, be sure to hold up the camera and I will save it".  I guess he has his priorities! I didn't include much of the sky because there was so much ambient light from the moon. Photographed at Zion National Park at f.2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 1600, 16-35mm II at 16mm, Canon 1Ds Mark III.

Look for foreground elements such as rocks, mountain silhouettes or trees. The bristlecone pine tree is silhouetted against the stars with the Milky Way placed off center to balance the two elements in the scene. This image was photographed in the White Mountains, California at f/1.4, 20 seconds, ISO 2000, Canon 5D Mark II.


Check Out the Book

Photography Night Sky: A Field Guide for Shooting After Dark.

Print edition and  Kindle or More Info