Camelopardalids Meteor Shower

Last weekend I hit the road up to the grounds of Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse in Port Hope, MI in hopes of catching a stunning display known as the Camelopardalids Meteor Shower. Internet and News outlets led me to believe this was going to be a great show with upwards of 1000 per hour. That’s 1000 per hour!! There really is an extra “0” in there.
I headed up at about 10:15 from Dearborn, right after work. Made the trek 2 hours and 30 minutes and made it there just before 1am, roughly 1 hour before the show was supposed to be at peak. I walked around the grounds and scouted a good shooting location in the dark. I lined things up and took a long exposure test shot of the scene.

Star Trails at Pointe Aux Barques

16 minute exposure, f/4, ISO200

After determining I liked the composition I setup shop with my intervalometer and shot this scene for just over an hour. During this time frame was supposed to be the busiest portion of the meteor shower. I caught 6 meteors over this hour. Not exactly what I expected.

Camelopardalids Composite

A composite of the 6 meteors which crossed my frame during the time I shot this composition.

I was starting to get a little bummed this meteor shower wasn’t going to pan out.  After seeing a few bright meteors off to the left of me I changed my composition. Unfortunately there was only another tree to shoot at. None the less I shot at it for about 45 minutes and during that time only 1 meteor passed. I compiled all the images from this composition and stacked it into a star trails shot.

Star Trails over Tree

From here, the others I was out shooting with made the decision to take off and try another location. White Rock roadside park, about 10 miles south of Harbor Beach. Here I saw no meteors.

Just as the sun started to show its light on the horizon over Lake Huron I called it a day and made the trek home to get some rest. Although the Camelopardalids Meteor Shower was a bust as far as the hype was concerned, it is to date the most successful meteor shooting event I’ve had. Nine meteors I captured on my camera which is a record for me. As well, I walked away with a couple good shots and had the chance to hang out with a couple other local photographers as well.



About Michigan Photographer - Daniel Frei

Daniel Frei is a landscape photographer from Southeast Michigan. Daniel has always enjoyed taking photos while camping and hiking in the woods and has taken this joy to the next level. A stay at home dad by day, when he gets out he likes to visit local hiking trails with the occasional trip farther outside of metro Detroit. He enjoys being a home grown Michigan Photographer

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