Meteor Jam 2022 – Light Painting Meetup
For a good Light Painters meeting, I tend to travel far. The more exciting the location the faster I would book a ticket. Of course, the people are also important. After the turmoil in the travel industry, it was almost safe to travel. It all started with the Idea of another Meteor Jam. Dan Roberts and I was talking to do another one but smaller this year. Spontaneously I decided to book a flight ticket and let things happen. We decided we would get some great night sky in Moab, Utah. Dan booked a cool apartment and together with some friends we made a road trip from Denver to Moab perfectly timed with the peak night of the Perseids. In this blog article, I share with you some of the highlights of the Meteor Jam 2022 Light Painters meet-up and what I got afterward on my own. I did visit other locations and we also did some local stuff in Denver.
Beyond that no further plans but life guiding me on what to do next. But no worries I am now happy to share some of the results here.
The Perseids are a meteor shower that occurs every year in the month of August. The meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus, which is the part of the sky from which the meteors appear to originate.
During the peak of the Perseids, which typically occurs around August 11-13, you may be able to see up to 50-100 meteors per hour under optimal conditions. We went for the weekend this year 12th – 14th of August. The Perseids are known for their bright, colorful streaks of light as they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, and they are often considered one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year.
The Perseids are caused by the Earth passing through a stream of debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which leaves behind a trail of small particles as it orbits the Sun. When these particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they collide with molecules of gas and create the bright streaks of light that we see as meteors.
If you want to see the Perseids, the best time to look is during the pre-dawn hours, when the constellation Perseus is high in the sky. Find a dark location away from city lights, and look up at the sky with your naked eye. You don’t need any special equipment to see the Perseids, but a reclining lawn chair can make it more comfortable to gaze up at the sky for an extended period of time. Of course, we took out all the gear and cameras. Being in Utah makes it all perfect because it provides one of the best night skies imaginable.
Six Meteors in one single Photo! Ok First things first.
This time we actually caught a lot of meteors in our images. Here is my most successful image when considering the idea of catching some meteors in one image without composite or Photoshop trickery. This is an 18-second exposure at ISO 5000 F2.8 with all the luck in the world. So the rest is just a bonus.
This spot was amazing. Since I have been to multiple times to Moab I knew what I was looking for. Free open space with different angles and potentially some great backdrop if a meteor decided to come down in front of us. After driving around during the daytime and checking for some different spots we all agreed on starting the night at Dead Horse Point State Park. Fantastic view 600m down to the Colorado river. Well, we wanted to look mostly up!
I was astonished myself!
When I see the image here it is probably hard to see yet I did not want to make it all Photoshop thingy. So some compression makes it hard to see what’s going on here. I did pull up the shadows so you see that it’s really that place. So downloaded the original image directly from the camera to the phone and share this with my friends at home. Full of excitement that I caught two maybe 3 meteors. Yet I stand corrected. What I did not see was that I actually cought 6 in one exposure. And later on the PC, I could confirm that. Some are hard to see but yes. Most successful Meteor catching ever. For me at least. No Photoshop addition 😉
Dead Horse Point State Park
This was our starting point. One of the most amazing viewpoints in the area. Trust me that means a lot. The area is breathtaking. Arches National Park and Canyon Lands are just around the corner. If you catch my drift.
Any direction is surprising. Not only the “hot spot” Dead Horse Point is a thing. If you walk around the peninsular kind of mesa you find an interesting colored pond. These blue purple and whatever colored ponds belong to the Texas Gulf Potash Pond. Google that, it’s super interesting.
Meteor Jam only with the right friends. Dan, Sylvia, Jamila, and Erin made the entire experience much more fun and so much more social.
The Meteor Jam 2022 Light Painting Group Shot
For the past years we always tried to get a shot of us. Preferably all of us in one image. As Light Painters we have no problem making that happend.
So you will find me on the far left, then Erin, then Sylvia and Jazz and Dan on the right. Nobody else was there but all are in the image.
You ask How? Ok this is how it worked. We started with me triggering the camera, then lit everyone in their position from the front, and then did some Light Painting behind Dan. After that, I moved to my position and Dan was free to move around to light up Jazz and Sylvia, Erin from the back, and in the end also me. In the meantime, I lit the mountain but avoided Dan’s area. If you look closely you see that Dan’s body did not get enough light so the sky looks through his body. Well with black clothes that’s a bit of a tricky one. This way all got some light. No one got left out.
Meteor Jam 2022 Side-Line Light Painting Experiments
Once we found the second spot where the Group shot took place everyone started experimenting. At first, I was busy with myself and then we all started a collaboration. Just like one would hope for.
The following two images are Light Painting Camera Rotation. The first one is a 180° two-step and the second one has four 90° steps featuring the clouds with the moon light.
Of course I found some trees.
If you’ve come to this website before and may seen my Instagram or Hive; you’ll know I have a thing for trees too. So when getting to the Rockies you find really old and ancient trees so I kept looking all around for the one perfect one. I have no clue how old this on is but wow it seems at least 1-2000 years old. This was actually the last shot of our first night during the Meteor Jam 2022. I grabed my stuff and wanted to walk to the car. 20 Meters before getting to the car I saw this beauty.
The second tree oversees the Canyon Lands at the Needles Overlook. Almost as crazy as Dead Horse Point.
The second tree oversees the Canyon Lands at the Needles Overlook. Almost as crazy as Dead Horse Point.
Click to enlarge the images.
No Light Painting in Arches National Park
As part of the Meteor Jam 2022, we spend the peak nights in Moab. I wish we had so much more time to create together. The biggest bummer was that we could not Light Paint in one of the National Parks. Not to disturb the astrophotographers it has been forbidden. I did get some ‘Light Paintings’ in Arches when the cars were shedding light onto “Balanced Rock”. Technically not really Light Painting.
Portrait session as part of the Meteor Jam 2022
Well not looking so much to the stars above here. But we do have some stars of the Light Painting community here. Lets be humble! Anyhow, we did get some portraits done. Even I got some created as a group effort. Man that was cool! Thank you Dan for making that happen. Of cours Thank you all!
Me in front of the camera.
That does not happen very often but when it does it rocks. Here once again I feel so f..ing honored to have everyone take a part in these images. It felt a bit like a horde of Paparazzi .. in a good way. These guys where really creative in there work. Not a quick shot and run off. But see for yourself.
For once I have some cool Portraits.
It’s not often that a concept works right away. These guys pulled these images off like it was nothing. It was incredible to watch and well I feel happy to be modeling for these ones! Gasmask is debatable but hey looks good on me. Now I am ready for my first movie poster. Thanx to Dan and Russel who took the lead and pushed for each concept so effortless. Thanx Isaac for sharing your shots with me as well!
Time to say thank you to someone I value. We met many years ago through Light Painting and share some more interests. Having an open mind, curiosity, and making things happen are what kept this friendship alive over many years even with thousands of miles in between. Even with all that distance, we both founded the Website LightPainters.com Yes, I am super proud of us, yet he made the technical work. Thanx Dan! Of course also Russel and Sylvia and aaaall the others who heve been so welcoming me during my visit.
Bonus Adventure after the Meteor Jam 2022
After all the excitement in Moab I went on for two more spots, by myself. First I went to the Calhan Painted Mines not to far from Colorado Springs, CO and after that further south to the Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area in New Mexico.
Calhan Painted Mines near Colorado Springs
When I researched what i can photograph in the area I found some images of the Paint Mines Interpretive Park near Calhan in Colorado. Checking the distance from where I was I saw that it was only a little more than an hour’s drive. So I decided that has to get into my program. Some Light Paintings should be easily possible. The weather was not super nice and forced me to stop light painting halfway through what I was hoping. I left with some cool areas not photographed, yet not unhappy with what I’ve got.
Looks almost like an aquarium backdrop, but it’s a drone light painting instead. I flew with some lights just along the rim above the camera.
What’s it like during daylight?
Here are some impressions of what it looks like during the day. The Area is super easy to hike and quick to access from the parking lot. Almost perfect for Light Painting. I loved it.
The Bisti Badlands
It’s been on my list for F..ing ever and now I finally made it to the Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area in New Mexico as part of my visit for the Meteor Jam 2022. After all the meetings were done I took the car and drove for many hours south to New Mexico. Apart from some little hick-ups here and there, it was super cool. What can you do .. what happen to me? Twisting my ankle, getting almost struck by lightning, and getting into a car accident (Some camper ran into me while filling my tank at the gas station), were all the little lings that prevented me from enjoying more locations longer. Nonetheless, it was simply breathtaking! But see for yourself.
If you want to see more see you can still watch the video. Of this trip. Get a quick impression of the area and the Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area in New Mexico as part of my latest Location Check 013
The Alien Egg Hatchery / Bisti Badlands
Like Some of the Alien Eggs?
Thank you for your attention
I hope You enjoyed that short trip into the night. If you feel inspired and want to go light painting, share your results with us. Looking forward seeing you out and about. Huge thanx to all who made this trip soooo extra special. So I want to close with my last shot. The Trippee Tipi! That special person knows how important that one last shot of the trip was to me! Thank you!
Camera Rotation of a Tipi