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Painting The Needles Under The Geminids Meteor Shower

Mike Berenson

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Painting The Needles Under The Geminids Meteor Shower Photograph  - Painting The Needles Under The Geminids Meteor Shower Fine Art Print
 

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Tags: all rights reserved photographs, closed road photographs, colorado captures photographs, constellations photographs, copyright 2013 by mike berenson photographs, all rights reserved canvas prints, closed road canvas prints, colorado captures canvas prints, constellations canvas prints, copyright 2013 by mike berenson canvas prints

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Littleton, CO - United States

Wow! Thank you so much everyone!

Davis, CA - United States

wonderful capture! v/f

Turku - Finland

Stunning, beautiful! F/v

Pitman, NJ - United States

Congratulations Mike, a majestic shot.

Christchurch, E9 - New Zealand

Mike I love this Picture it is great and the colors are outstanding.Congrats on your great sale!!! v/f

San Francisco Bay Area, CA - United States

Congratulations on your sale!

Grants Pass, OR - United States

Masterful, indeed! Wow :) F/V

Littleton, CO - United States

Thank you so much everyone!! I'm really happy to hear you liked the results of this overnight adventure.

Cumming, GA - United States

Congratulations! Amazing shot.

Burbank, CA - United States

Awesome image, Mike! Congratulations on your sale!

San Isidiro, Pe - Costa Rica

what a great photo!

Missoula, MT - United States

Wow. This is awesome, Mike!! Congrats on your sale:) ~Teshia

Gatineau, QC - Canada

Well done Mike. This is a great shot! Fav and voted.

Littleton, CO - United States

Thank you James! Very much appreciated!

Melbourne, Vi - Australia

Fantastic shot Mike!! Great Creation. F/V

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Title

Painting The Needles Under The Geminids Meteor Shower

Artist

Mike Berenson

Medium

Photograph

Description

From the moment David Kingham first mentioned his idea of heading up to the Needle's Eye in South Dakota for the Geminids Meteor Shower, I had a feeling it had some potential to be really cool. Sure enough, that was absolutely the case!

I'm sparing you the practice sessions that led up to this and cutting straight to the epic trip with the big shower and captures to show for it. This composite image comes from over a thousand images taken on an overnight photo adventure and shows David Kingham looking up during the break in light painting the Needles under the Geminids Meteor Shower.

We left Denver on December 13th under cloudy skies and headed north into Wyoming before taking yet another look at the forecast. With most of Colorado under cloudy skies and more moisture heading in from the west, it looked like our strategy of heading north of the state had a chance - certainly better than any of the locations in Colorado or Utah looked at the time. But with the skies looking even more ominous as we headed north, we found we had to make a critical decision - knowing our success or failure would depend on it. Since we were going specifically to shoot the big meteor shower on THE big night of the year, it was critical that we find at least some clear skies. So with nothing more than a questionable forecast and a little faith, we decided to continue on with our plan and forge on ahead to the Needle's Eye.

A little while later after the sun set, we found ourselves driving through the hills of Wyoming still under mostly cloudy skies. And as the light from the sun started to disappear, I couldn't help but notice the darkness with no visible stars - thanks to all the clouds above. It was at this point that it hit me - just how much commitment the three of us (David Kingham, Jason Hatfield, and I) were showing. After all, we'd driven hundreds of miles under cloudy skies in the hopes that we'd have something great (in spite of the weather we was seeing). And with each of us driving our own vehicles (so we'd each have a warm vehicle to sleep in), it began to sink in just how much commitment each of us were showing by forging on.

Just before we turned into South Dakota, I noticed David (in the lead) heading over a hill just as the Big Dipper appeared in the sky above. And with the skies beginning to clear, the sense of relief was amazing. It was at this point that I knew all our effort might just pay off…

After driving into South Dakota and past the little town of Custer, we entered Custer State Park and approached our target, the Needle's Eye. And just as the excitement started to peak with the distance to our target winding down, I found myself approaching David who'd already turned around and was headed back the other way. That's not good, I thought…

David said that for some reason the road was closed up ahead and asked if I would mind hiking. Hmmm… I knew it was freezing cold and I wasn't really prepared to stay warm all night long if I wasn't near my vehicle. But I also knew that I'd just driven 380 miles and was most definitely not going back home empty handed - especially not with the mostly clear skies we were seeing. So I said yes and we got ready for what turned out to be an easy one mile hike.

Once we got set up, we had a little light painting party where we shot long-exposures while taking turns painting the rock formations with our lights. Different approaches and varying intensity gave some results that we figured we'd be happy with.

Then after the light painting session was over, we set up our interval timers to programmatically shoot for the rest of the night. David and I soon headed down the hill to the warmth of our vehicles leaving Jason behind with his cold weather camping gear. As it turned out, this was a key part of the plan as some deer showed up during the night looking very interested in our gear. In fact, in the time-lapse video, you can see red streaks from Jason's headlamp as he shooed the deer away from our gear. Once again, thank you Jason!

Behind the meteors is a starry view of the classic winter night sky captured early in the evening with a line of stars and constellations featuring (from bottom left to upper right) Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky), Orion (with the three star belt and sword), Taurus (the bull) with Jupiter shining brightly on the top of the bull's head, and then Pleiades (the seven sisters star cluster).

Beyond the chance to capture the meteors, I'll admit that it was a wonderful experience to have been able to see so many of them with my own eyes. And while every single one of them was something special in my eyes, to have seen so many of them was a humbling experience. In the composite image, some of them are bright and some are faint. But with 30 meteors successfully captured and included in this composite image, I hope you enjoy the results!

To see my time-lapse video from the same night, please go to http://www.coloradocaptures.com/forum/threading-the-needle-timelapse-video.

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March 21st, 2013

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