Night Photography Explored: Part 5 – Meteor Showers

A Geminid Meteor streaks through the sky above the Gros Ventre River in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A Geminid Meteor streaks through the sky above the Gros Ventre River in Grand Teton National Park.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III, Lens: Canon 17-40mm f/4, Aperture: f/4, ISO: 4,000, Shutter Speed: 10sec., Focal Length: 17mm

By contrast to photographing the northern lights, meteor showers are much more predictable for their peak and thus help to be easily planned out to photograph. Predicting exactly when a meteor is going to streak across the sky though is a lot like trying to predict when lightning will strike. This section will help you get the most out of every meteor shower so that you’ll be able to come away with some great shots of shooting stars!

Setting Up

This is where you’ll definitely want to be capturing more sky than land, even if there is moonlight. Your composition can certainly have some distinct silhouettes, or even features if there’s moonlight, but you want the majority of your image to be of the night sky.
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Categorized: How To
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Grizzly Bear #610 and Cubs Playing in Grand Teton National Park


Grizzly Bear 610 plays and wrestles with her cubs in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Last week, Grizzly Bear 610 of Grand Teton National Park officially emerged from her den. She was out wandering around Signal Mountain for a few weeks prior to that, but it wasn’t until about a week ago that she began to venture farther out to places such as Oxbow Bend and Willow Flats, giving many more people the opportunity to witness her happiness for being out and about.

Grizzly Bear 610 is of course the daughter of Jackson Hole icon, Grizzly Bear 399, who achieved quite a bit of recognition several years ago for successfully raising three cubs along the roadsides near Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake Lodge, of which 610 was one of. Last year, both bears, who had been frequenting the same areas, each emerged with their own set of new cubs.
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Categorized: Video, Wildlife
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Warm Spell of Winter Video Compilation


A video compilation featuring winter footage from Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and beyond.

Winter appears to winding down here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming significantly early. I suppose Mother Nature felt bad for giving us such a short summer last year, so if weather stays consistent, we’ll have an extra month this year!

For the most part, winter wasn’t incredibly eventful. The title comes from winter being unusually warm much of the time. There were certainly plenty of cold days as well as a pretty respectable amount of snow, but it never really "felt" like a Jackson Hole winter. As a result, much of the wildlife didn’t follow their usual rounds and so sightings weren’t quite as frequent or predictable. Luckily though, there’s still always wildlife to be found and sometimes even gives you a little surprise.

One such occasion was when a black wolf and a mule deer buck had a two-day standoff just off the highway, captivating the town.
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Categorized: Landscape, Video, Wildlife
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Northern Lights Over Jackson Hole, Wyoming


The Aurora Borealis, aka northern lights, light up over Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

I was giving up on this so-called great solar storm around midnight last night. Skies had clouded up just after sunset, the impact wasn’t as strong as they had predicted, and I was getting tired. Just out of curiosity, I checked the immediate aurora forecast and saw that activity was beginning to pick up to where it might show up down here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I went out onto my balcony, which faces north, to do a quick test shot just to see if I would even get anything. To my surprise, the clouds had thinned out considerably and were even beginning to clear out, so I grabbed my gear and headed out.

My instincts weren’t very good last night because despite getting some nice shots, given another chance (which may happen within the next few days!), I would go to completely different spots, and in general just be more prepared.
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Categorized: Landscape, Video
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Longest Lenses Aren’t Necessarily the Best

An otter stands on ice on Flat Creek in the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
An otter stands on ice on Flat Creek in the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming.

I have a few good friends who occasionally allow me the opportunity to plug in to their longer lenses. During this time, it’s tempting to get as much as I can from one of those lenses, even if it might not necessarily be the best lens for the specific scene.

Prior to today, winter had seemed to be put on hold as temperatures were unusually warm, rising into the 20s and 30s, melting what little snow was already on the ground. Flat Creek in the National Elk Refuge was certainly no exception. Normally completely frozen over, an area just outside of town was mostly thawed out, attracting many birds and smaller wildlife that normally move to more open water. Otters in particular have been spotted fairly regularly now, attracting a growing fondness from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
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Categorized: Wildlife
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The 12 Best Photos from 2011

January
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds. (Mike Cavaroc)
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds.

I found myself rather unproductive in early 2011 in terms of stills. With the recent purchase of a 7D and getting it up to working order, as well as discovering time-lapse photography, my still photography became a bit stagnant. As a result, most of my work was in the form of a time-lapse and before finding a good balance of time-lapse, video and still, I even wondered if I would move entirely into video. Eventually the balance did work itself out and once I had my 7D back and functioning properly the following spring, it was full-steam ahead in every direction!

I discovered this image during that time after forgetting about it. I was looking back through a day in January where I hadn’t shot very much at all, but saw potential in a nice sunset above Pilgrim Mountain.
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Categorized: Article, Landscape, Panorama, Video, Wildlife
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