NEW RELEASE! SEASIDE HEIGHTS ROLLERCOASTER – ” ETERNAL NIGHT “

Being the extreme storm chaser and landscape astro-photographer that I am, I couldn’t resist the rare opportunity to photograph such a tragic loss with our night sky. This Hurricane was different because instead of me going after it, Hurricane Sandy decided to come to me. I received a direct impact from Hurricane Sandy with heavy rains and very strong winds.  Most people associate Hurricane’s with the lower gulf states and the barrier islands of North Carolina, it was only a matter of time that a large system to would wreak havoc on the mid-atlantic and northeastern US. I spent several nights on the sand at the Seaside Heights Rollercoaster since Late October 2012, and have captured many dramatic images of the destruction for the last several months. It’s given me plenty of time to really take it what exactly happen here and how long the road for recovery is really going to be. So many people have lost so much, but in the end, we still stand tall,  just like the Jet-Star Rollercoaster.

The Jet-Star Roller coaster in Seaside Heights, NJ gainst a startrailed background and a meteor!

The Jet-Star Roller coaster in Seaside Heights, NJ against a star filled background and a meteor!

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2012 Lyrid Meteor Shower: A Look Back

Meadow In The Sky

I found myself at 3,500ft in elevation with crystal clear skies on Friday April 20th, 2012. Being “Park Week”, I had no choice but to visit a long time friend of mine; Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. With the forecast looking poor during the peak activity, I arrived a couple of days early to  maximize my chances at a clear night. The first night was clear, but the dew point was causing issues with creating tons of condensation, which formed on everything. Things got a little hairy at point when a black bear approached us at 11pm in the pitch dark. I didn’t realize he was there until I heard a stick break and then noticed the bear 50 feet away. He growled and made noises, but kept on moving towards the east with no issues at all.

Sunset was even a pleasant palette of pastel colors in the western skies facing West Virginia

Valley View

Shenandoah Celebrated it’s 75 year anniversary last year as I celebrated my 12th year there at the highest Point in the Park, Hawksbill Mountain

Self Portrait - Hawksbill Mountain

Rain water created tiny pools of water along the highest cliffs in the park

Cliff Water

The second night there wasn’t a problem with condensation forming on my gear because we had gusty winds near 40mph or higher along the ridge preventing that from happening. The sturdy tripod made all the difference this night taking the stronger winds. Keeping the tripod low to the ground increases the stability. A steady rain, followed by 6″ of snow blocked any chance of observations for the “peak night”.  But the night before offered some gorgeous views of the heavens.

2012 Lyrid Meteor

 

The TOP photo is featured on MSN Photo Blog.. Check it out here.  http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/27/11434037-looking-back-at-the-lyrids

2012 is a great year for meteor showers unlike 2011. The next “major shower” is May 4/5, but the full moon block out all but the brightest meteors.

 

 

LAUNCH OF THE NEW WEBSITE!

Jeff Berkes Photography just got a drastic overhaul on the website! New and improved galleries make viewing all  galleries faster and more enjoyable!

Whats new with the website?

Well, just about everything! The entire format has changed, litterally. The “image collection” has a brand new format with large thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge it, see captions and descriptions for each image, click on that image again to return to the thumbnail gallery, simple right?

 The “Photo Tours” page has up to date information on 2012 workshops! As of now there are two (2) Nighttime / Meteor Shower Workshops planned for 2012, with others being added in this Spring. The “Exploring America”  Photo Tour page  has two (2) Adventures planned for August and September, one visiting Arches, Canyonlands National Parks, as well as Deadhorse State Park.  The other Tour will be in Yellowstone National Park – Geysers, Landscape and Wildlife.

Hope you enjoy the new design!  If you happen to find any errors please inform us, so we can fix any issue asap! Thanks in advance.. Feedback is always much appreciated!

2012 Meteor Shower Photo Tours now up!!

Tree of the Desert, August 2011.

Tree of the Desert, August 2011.

Hi Everyone!

I have just released my first two nighttime / meteor shower workshops for 2012. The First is the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower, our destination is Shenandoah Naitonal Park, in Virginia. The second, is the Orionid Meteor Shower in October 2012  at Acadia National Park, in Maine. 

More information can be found at my website                  www.jeffberkesphotography.com

Quadrantids Meteor Shower 2012: PART II : Looking Back

Most people think that being a landscape photographer is all fun and games. Well, if it were that easy everybody would be doing it, right? I can honestly say that I enjoy every second that I am outside in nature with my camera. My goal is to make you see and feel the beauty and power of mother nature is her most unguarded moment.

Key Momentum

Key Momentum

If I am able to inspire just one person  to care about our planet, oceans, rivers, weather,  night skies, landscapes and national parks , than I would say I am doing my “job”.  I have received an overwhelming amount of feedback from the 2012 Quadrantid’s and it’s a blessing. I wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my 2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower post. I couldn’t have asked for a better response.  I will be responding to comments and emails for the next week or two , so don’t worry I will be answer all of your questions!
 
I will be running a photographic workshops in April for the Lyrid Meteor Shower. If  you are interested in joining this workshop,  please contact me through my website at
 
 
Many Thanks and Best Wishes-  
 
Jeff Berkes
 
 
 
 

First Meteor Shower of 2012! The Quadrantids!

Tuesday night into Wednesday morning marks the annaual Quadrantid Meteor Shower. Last year was a major success and with the moon setting around 3am local time, this year should be awesome as well. Expect the radiant to rise in the NE sky around midnight with the peak condiitons occuring between 2am and sunrise (local time). meteors can be seen in any section of the sky.

 As an artic front pushes south the temperature will drop to around 10 degrees, the wind chills will be at or below zero degrees for much of the night. Florida is sounding really nice right about now 🙂 But reguardless of where you are in the northern hemisphere this show should “WOW” skywatchers all over. Rate can exceed 100 meteor per hour. You do not want to miss this one! Enjoy, and have a happy new year with the Quadrantids!

Moving On – 2012

With 2011 coming to a close,  we tend to look back on the year and think about the goals we’ve accomplished, the trips we took or wanted to take, the people we meet, the people we have lost, the gifts we have received and what is in store for us, in 2012.

 I’m very thankful for the opportunity to travel all over America while capturing our beautiful landscapes and the weather that forms those landscapes.  Being able to travel and see these things first hand,  is one of the best “gifts” I could have ever asked for. It’s very difficult both physically and mentally, but the single element that drives it all is the passion and dedication I have for extreme weather and the discovery for new things. I hope you find everything you are looking for in 2012! Remember, don’t wait  or wish for something  to happen, make it happen.  

Happy New Year 2012!