Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012 – Florida Keys Style

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower of 2012 was incredible! For the second year in a row, I was able to catch this shower under dark skies. This year I was fortunate enough to get flight to the Florida Keys to photograph the first meteor shower of 2012. (Thanks buddy, you know who you are). We flew into Key West on Tuesday morning and scouted out possible locations  to shoot the shower from over a 55 mile stretch of highway. We came up with some solid locations to shoot from and we had plenty of  time to bounce to different spots before the shower really picked up in intensity.

I took this shot in the early morning hours of January 4th, 2012.

Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights

You can even see  the “Zodiac Lights” appearing as an illuminated looking triangular shape in the very early hours before sunrise (local time). You would think it was warm there… well,  it was almost freezing out.

Artic Air Plunges South - Accuweather

Artic Air Plunges South - Accuweather

The temp went down to 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, and with the wind chill, it felt like the 30’s. Keep in mind the all time record low for Key West, FL is 41. This was almost record cold for the southern most part in the Continental US.

Key West All Time Record Low is 41. I recorded 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, FL.

Key West All Time Record Low is 41. I recorded 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, FL.

 We decided to leave last minute when we saw the low temperatures where I live would be in the single digits with wind chills below zero. I did that last year and it was tough on the body and mind, not to mention the cold drained my batteries faster than ever and it was hard on the gear. It was nice to have only 4 layers of clothes on instead of 8.

3 Amigos and a Meteor Shower

3 Amigos and a Meteor Shower

I don’t go out for one or two hours during a meteor shower. I go out for the entire night. You greatly increase your chances at seeing more meteors and your chances for capturing one with your camera also increase. I don’t set up multiple cameras simple because being behind the “helm” when you capture one is the best feeling about photographing these showers, it makes the memory and photograph you just created much more personal.

2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower - Dawn on a Meteor

2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower - Dawn on a Meteor

This meteor shower was great to me last year and it was even better to me this year. I’m already loking forward to next years Quadrantids, but from where will I see them? Only time will tell. One thig I do know and that 2012 has started off on the right foot. Happy 2012 Everyone! I hope all of your wishes come true.
Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights - Near Big Pine Key, FL

Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights - Near Big Pine Key, FL

The “2012” is not photoshopped in. This is the RAW file.

Fine Art Prints can be ordered through my website at  www.jeffberkesphotography.com

UPDATE: 1.8.2012  –   Thanks for all the comments everyone! It’s been overwhelming with the amount of emails and messages I have been receiving. Just want to let you know that I appreciate every single one of them. I will respond to all very soon.  Many Thanks!


149 responses to “Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012 – Florida Keys Style

    • Thanks for the kind words! I hope you get to see one someday it’s quite an amazing thing to see. I do run Meteor Shower Photo Workshops, You will certainly see dozens on one of these trips.. Thanks again!

  1. the cold drained your batteries. hmmm. then i have to wonder why so many people put their batteries in the freezer or refrigerator to preserve them.

    how did you do the 2012 on the water? did you write it with a laser while the shutter was open?

    • I wish the cold helped preserve the battery life! Unfortunately is does not work that way.

      You got it! I did write the 2012 with a lazer during a long exposure!

  2. Wow, those are absolutely breathtaking photos. The colors and the crispness of the detail is amazing! Thanks for sharing such an incredible sight and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  3. Very cool! I’m a little further north of Key West in the Palm Beach area and unfortunately, we didn’t see very much meteor action that night.

  4. Lovely shots! I saw just one amazing shooting star driving home from work on Tuesday night – I didn’t even know there was a meteor shower – I would have paid more attention!

  5. allentown photographers I’ve been surfing on-line over 3 hours right now, yet I under no circumstances uncovered any interesting report like yours. It is rather worth ample for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers produced great subject material while you did, the net is going to be significantly far more beneficial than ever prior to.allentown photographers

  6. I’m guessing the “2012” is done using light painting?
    That’s what it looks like.

    Here on Long Island, Ny all mom & I could see was loads of stars out…

  7. I lived in Key West for four years..I’m in Maine now, where its ridiculously cold, but beautiful. I can tell you the locals are crying about those freezing temps down there.. brr! Thanks for sharing, I fell asleep instead of watching the meteor shower. I have a 50D with a 35 mm lens and I knew I wouldn’t get anything worth staying up for. Meteor shower is on my list though!

  8. Wonderful pictures I haven’t seen a meteor shower in my entire life! I wish I could see one! 🙂 Awesome! 🙂

  9. This is amazing. I was looking for people who wanted to do this but I was not able to find anyone in my circle. Are you guys doing this again next year? I would love to come.

  10. Thanks for all of the kind words everyone. The feedback has been overwhelming which is wonderful! Your comments help motivate me to keep searching for the most beautiful moments in nature. I will get back to your questions and comments soon. Best Wishes- Jeff Berkes

  11. I have always loved scenes like this – the night sky has always fascinated me. As a child I would spend ages staring deep into the Milky Way at night, and imagine the possible alien life that could be out there. I have also been inspired for writing my science fiction novel and blog (http://johnbentleyswriting.com for those interested) by images of star-packed skies. As I live in a city I don’t often have the chance to see shooting stars, which is a shame, but in mid-August we have the “lluvia de estrellas” (rain of stars) here in north-east Spain, which is always a treat to see if it’s a clear night. Always a favourite subject of mine, this, and some great photos in this post too.

  12. Amazing — easy to forget how proximity to the ocean, away from light pollution, gives you some nice clear stars. We were in Sanibel (a community very good about reducing light pollution in order to meet the needs of the breeding turtle population) in October a few years ago and came out to watch the sunrise a little after 6ish. It was still pitch black and the stars were magnificent.

  13. just curious what your settings are for the star shots. I seem to get a blurry shot much of the time and not too clear. i am thinking a better tripod might be needed, but also everything seems a bit too noisy. Love the shots!

  14. Stunning, beautiful pictures. I live in Britain, so it’s almost guaranteed that, when there’s an interesting astronomical phenomenon to look out for, the weather will be atrocious, so I really appreciated seeing these photographs, thank you!

  15. Stunning! Thanks for your work and sharing your gift. I was lucky enough to be in dark skies overlooking a lake in Montana and arose from sleeplessness to take some pictures. My two year old woke up too and was in my arms while I balanced the camera on the table and held the exposure open with one freezing finger. It was a beautiful morning.

  16. Wow, amazing blog format! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging glance easy. The full look of your website is excellent, as smartly as the content material!

  17. Reblogged this on Jeff Berkes Blog and commented:

    The Quadrantids are back! This year I won’t be freezing in Florida, instead, I will be at freezing at home shooting this one. Don’t let the full moon keep you inside this year, it can still be a great show, just give yourself at least 30mins to 45mins outside. It will be worth it under clear skies!

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