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