This past Saturday I journeyed up to Brasstown Bald in North Georgia to photograph the Perseid meteor shower. It’s about a 2 hour drive from my house in Winder. I had been there several times in the past and there was never a big crowd in the evenings or at night. I was always able to shoot from pretty much any spot on the lookout tower. Well, when I arrived Saturday evening around 7pm, the parking lot was full and a very large crowd was just about to begin the .6 mile hike up to the summit where the lookout tower is. So in full panic mode, I quickly jumped out of my truck, grabbed my gear and got in front of the pack. It’s a tough hike in the summer when you’re carrying 50lbs of camera gear and a cooler full of “water” and snacks. I found out later that there had been an organized Instagram meetup that night. Anyway, I made it to the top, picked out my spot and setup my tripods to claim my domain for the night. That’s when I realized that, in my haste to beat the crowd, I had forgotten something in my truck. After a short break and “beverage”, I grudgingly hiked back down the mountain to get what I had forgotten. By the time I made it back up to the summit, my stomach had already begun growling. That’s when I remembered I had planned to stop for dinner on my drive up. I must be getting old because I’m realizing I’m starting to forget important things like eating! Thankfully, my wife had packed some snacks for me and I survived. The crowd of photographers and nature lovers kept pouring in as the sun was fading over the horizon. As the sky darkened, we were starting to see some faint meteors. By 11 o’clock the Milky Way was really standing out in the night sky. I had planned to stay in one spot and shoot about 3000 images for a time-lapse but there were just too many flash lights being misused and it would have been a very distracting video. It all worked out though because I had to change my location anyway in order to meet up with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in 21 years. It was so dark and impossible to pick out anyone in a crowd so we decided to meet at the base of the lookout tower. And that’s where I spent the rest of the night shooting and laughing and catching up with my old buddy. I was able to capture quite a few meteors and witness many more. Check out my Instagram @Clearskypixelsfor more images and follow me!
I’ve been revisiting images from the past lately. 2 years ago I was in Florida to witness a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. I arrived a day early to do some scouting and some photography in the area. On launch day, I woke up early to shoot the sun rising above the Vehicle Assembly Building at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center. Falcon 9 was standing tall just to the left of the VAB. It was a perfect sunrise and a perfect launch to follow later that day. There's really no way to describe how awesome it was to see the launch on site and to feel the rumble from those 9 Merlin engines. Can't wait to get back down there! Feel free to follow me on @Clearskypixels
This past weekend I attended the annual Nature Photography Weekend at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC. It was a fantastic few days of hiking, shooting, sightseeing, tent camping, seminars, oh, and some wind and rain. I logged over 7 miles of hiking, took over 1000 photos. And to top it off, I was honored to win awards in two different photo categories. The photo below won 2nd place in the Animals category. I’m in the process of posting some of my “keepers” on Instagram. Feel free to follow me there @Clearskypixels
I managed to capture only 1 meteor from the Lyrid meteor shower this year. I had setup the camera's intervelometer to take 1000 images during the night. But I was camping and may have had a few beers before it got dark. That is my excuse for not checking the battery's charge when it was time to start the shoot. My camera only took 100 images before the battery died. So I only managed to capture about an hour of the sky. Did I learn my lesson? Probably not. But I will double check my battery when the Perseids arrive in August.
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I left work early Friday to head home and get the RV loaded up for the weekend’s trip. We had reservations at Van Pugh Campground on Lake Lanier. By 2pm I was backing into our site and getting things setup. I hadn’t brought my camera on the last few camping trips. Resorting instead to just hanging with family and friends and using the iPhone for random snap shots. But, for the past few weeks I had really been getting the “shutter bug” and wanting to take more opportunities for photography so I decided to bring along my trusty Nikon D750 for this trip. My only goal was to shoot the Lyrid meteor shower. By late in the afternoon it was becoming obvious that I was in a good spot to shoot the sunset so I figured I might as well. I got a few photos that I’m happy with but this one is my favorite. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky so I knew there wasn’t going to be much color to enjoy but sometimes we have to take what we can get. The rest of that weekend was cloudy and raining so I can appreciate that evening a little more now. Anyways, here it is. My sunset image from Friday, April 20, 2018. Oh, and this is my first blog post ever so bear with me. Follow me on Instagram @Clearskypixels