2012 Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend!!!

Perseid Meteor falling over the Pacific Ocean south of Hilo

The Perseids are here! As seen on National Geograhpic’s website. Every year we enter a swath of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle sparking these “falling stars”.  Last year was a  bust with a full moon washing out all but the brightest ones.  As pictured below..

Perseid Meteor and Full Moon 2011

Perseid Meteor and Full Moon 2011

 Unlike last year, this year should be much better. The moon rises in the early morning as a crescent which is better than the bright full moon.  The best place watch is away from city lights where the light pollution takes over our night sky. Where ever you live just take a 30 minute drive out-of-town. This year we have a bonus!  Venus and Jupiter will align with the slender crescent moon in the eastern sky before sunrise in a dazzling morning sky show with a flurry of Perseid Meteors!  The best time to look is between 1am and 4am (NE) when the radiant is the highest in the sky. featured below…

Perseid Sky Map

 I have had the honor of photographing this meteor shower multiple times from many places. Last year I photographed it from Utah, Arizona and Pennsylvania and I’m planning on extending that streak to a couple additional states this weekend. Here are a few shots from past meteor showers.Perseid Meteor over the Utah Desert 2011.

Utah Desert 2011.Delta Aquarid - Glacier 2008

Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower 2008

Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012

Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012

Quadrantid Meteor Shower – Florida Keys

Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseid Meteor Shower 2010

Perseids – Big Island of Hawaii

Leonids 2011

Leonids 2011

Leonid Meteor Shower – New Jersey 2011

Volcano and Perseid Meteor 2010

Volcano and Perseid Meteor 2010

The Kilauea Volcano Caldera, the Milkyway and a Perseid Meteor , Hawaii

Lyrids 2012

Lyrids 2012

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2012 – Virginia

Quadrantids in the Florida Keys 2012!

Quadrantids in the Florida Keys 2012!


 On a single night of the year you can see a falling star, but there are nights where the chances increase by a ton!  The Perseids start in late July and last until  about the 18th of August, the greatest activity of the shower will occur this weekend so be sure to go outside tonight and make a few wis

You can see these meteors in any direction in the sky. Make sure you bring a camping chair or blanket and look straight up without focusing on any single area in the sky. If you choose to photograph the shower make sure you use a lens which can cover a good portion of the sky and bring lots of snacks! Try not to look at cell phones or use flashlights that aren’t “red lights” this damages your night vision. When you first arrive at your sight make sure you allow 10-15minutes for your eyes to adjust to the night sky. Do not look at or into any light sources, it will tak you another 15 minutes for your eyes to adjust into (night mode).

Check back for a follow up to the shower and happy meteor hunting!



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!

Major Winter Storm this Weekend?

Winter has been hard to find across the US this year. That may change this weekend as a possible Nor’Easter is on the horizon. As always, there are a few factors that play into this.. #1. Will the two storms collide and explode, #2 – Will there be enough cold air in place to support snow, # 3 –  The storm Track.  Here are the visuals curiosity of The Weather Channel.

The Ingredients for the Storm are here –

The southern and northern storms need to combine “Phase” over the lower US and ride up the coast.  The Low(s) will rapidly intensify (bombing out) creating one mega snowstorm for parts of the Northeast.

Scenario #1 – The main LP explodes in the mid-atlantic and northeast, moving up into New England.

The southern tier storms could turn north along the coast and combine with the northern tier storm, creating a full-blown blizzard.

Scenario #2

Depending if the Storm tracks north or not is one thing. The other is the exact storm track. How far inland is the low? Does it graze the coast? is it 40 miles off the coast? This decides where there will be enough cold air to support snow. South /East of the Low Pressure (LP) will see rain. North and east of the Low Pressure will see the heavy snow and often thundersnow.

Scenario #3 –  If the southern storm moves east and out to sea.. There would be no storm at that point. We need the energy of these two systems to combine and explode up the coast and we would need the storm to stay just off the coast, keeping the “Snow line” east of the I-95 corridor.

With that in Mind –

The possibilities are here and you should keep an eye on this for the next couple of days. You remember all the snow in the northeast the last couple of years including “Snowmageddon”, right? Scenario #1 is needed for a big snowstorm. We won’t know until around Saturday what will happen with this storm. I wish for a powerhouse nor’easter every year, so I want it to snow like there is no tomorrow. But time will tell. So many things need to happen in order for an epic storm to form. We know all to well that these storms are a staple for winter in the Northeastern US, now I am “wishing / hoping” we get “the Blizzard of 2012”

Snowstorms of the Past.

Deadly Snowstorm of  March 1993.

(Above) This could be Scenario #1 – Winter storms should never be taken lightly. Mother Nature should NEVER be taken lightly.

Pictures from recent Blizzards –

New Jersey 2010.

New Jersey 2010. Pennsylvania - February 2010 Christmas Storm 2010.


Snowmageddon - Southeastern Pennsylvania

Snowmageddon - Southeastern Pennsylvania

Nor'Easter Camping

Nor'Easter CampingA lot of people call me crazy, but to me, it's just like waking up and drinking coffee (and I do not drink coffee). I live for weather like this. I have camped in blizzards with my 4 season tent (as shown) where my tent has had 35" of snow on it and 60mph wind gusts blasts the walls of my shelter, temperatures in the teens with wind chills way below zero. For me it's all about the experience and just being out in the worst weather mother nature has to offer, I take the pictures so I can reflect on my adventures and share them with everyone who well... doesn't have that interest in braving the elements. Winter's Wrath

Snow on the Coast

Snow on the Coast32" of snow and 50-60mph winds gusts created unique drifts, in some unusual spots. Snowmageddon - West Chester , PA

Snowmageddon - West Chester , PA

Snowmageddon - West Chester , PA

A couple of college students venture out into the blizzard to get some coffee. What does this photo make you think of?
Ice Night

Ice Night

 Freezing rain gathers on anything it come in contact with.
Snowmageddon 2009

Snowmageddon 2009

 Keep your eyes on the TWC and local new stations as we watch these storms move across the US.

Ultra Rare Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

At approx 2:40am EST Tuesday morning you will witness something that hasn’t been seen in 372 years… a Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice.  The Moon officially turns Full in the Northern Hemisphere at 3:13am EST on the 21st, at that time we will be in Mid-Eclipse. We won’t officially turn to winter until 6:38pm EST (Thanks John!).  Dating back to year 1, yes, the last 2000 years this has only happen one time, in the 1600’s and it won’t happen again until a closer 2094. The eclipse will last 1 hour and 10 minutes or until 3:51am EST. Watch the Full Moon turn red tonight with me!

Here are some photos from previous eclipses.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.