Catch a falling star 25

Uluru – Northern Territory June 2016 (9 photos)

Arriving at the sunrise viewing area just before the start of the blue hour gave us the chance to indulge in some star photography over Uluru before the crowds arrived.

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Although not in the field of view, the glow of the full moon still limited the intensity of the starlight.

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Manual focus is best. Setting infinity can be difficult on autofocus in dark conditions.

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Then I noticed the bright line to the left in my shot above – a shooting star. I believe they are relatively common, but I can say it is rare for this particular city dweller to see one, let alone catch one in a photo.

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Even rarer to catch a second one, right above Uluru in the shot above.

And then a third one, above Uluru again …

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Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day

For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night
Just in case you feel you want to hold her
You’ll have a pocketful of starlight

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day

“Catch a Falling Star”, written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, is a song made famous by Perry Como’s hit version, released in 1957. The single won Como the 1959 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male. Its melody is based on a theme from Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture.

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As if this photography session was designed for me, I continued to photograph as the sky started its dawn colour run …

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… and the stars faded from view, but I was safe knowing that I had a few pockets full of starlight saved for a rainy day.

Did you see the shooting stars in some of the other photos in this post?

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I also had a dedicated night photography session. More photos to follow.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Catch a falling star…


57 thoughts on “Catch a falling star…

  1. Three shooting stars in a row. What a treat. They look tiny, those silver slivers. They must be very far away. Bravo on this set of shots. Focus looked post on, and very crisp as usual. From dusk to dawn? It looked like all the shots were taken from one exact spot. Maybe you camped there but maybe not because it can get freezing out there at night πŸ™‚

    • Thanks. No, no camping in subzero temperatures, if you please. πŸ™‚ I took most of them in the same area before moving closer to Uluru as the dawn broke and the tourist buses started to arrive.

      The best thing is to find something to focus on at infinity; the moon is good for that. The trails look the same as I din’t bother with changing my exposure times for the different shots.

  2. A beautiful series of photographs Mr Dragon. Finding dark sky in the UK is becoming next to impossible but I have managed to photograph the Milky Way albeit with orange tints due to the light pollution. Focus is always the challenge When you can’t see your subject through the viewfinder and as you mention auto focus is useless. I spent quite a bit of time experimenting to find the optimum focus point in daylight and having done that I now know that even in complete darkness, if I turn the focus ring to that particular spot, I will always have a sharp photo. The infinity mark on a lens is rarely the optimum point I have found. Perhaps not so with your Leica.

    • Thank you very much. We’re lucky in Aus that there are many very remote areas, often with fantastic landscape features. You just have to be able to reach them.

      Using magnification focus, focussing on the full moon was incredibly accurate in determining infinity focus but the tradeoff was reduced intensity of the starlight. If you compensate by increasing the exposure time above 30 seconds then you start to get trails. Maybe half moonlight is the best time to shoot the milky Way.

      You obviously know your equipment very well and that is key. I assume you’ve made a paint mark or small etch to mark that spot on your lens. The trouble with zooms is they can rotate forever. On my Leica primes, I know that correct infinity for me, is usually about 1-2 mm before hitting the infinity mark.

  3. isabellaesthermariarose says:

    I love the photography, I love the song lyrics, and I am especially entranced by the shooting stars. Another impressive article.

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a series of shooting stars on the same night. Must have been way back in the early 90s when I lived in the California desert. Good that you got to capture some. πŸ™‚

    • I just hope they don’t burn a hole in my pocket. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you. It was cold out there, but that was soon forgotten once the camera was set up and you’re just shooting away. πŸ™‚

  5. LB says:

    As I read through the lyrics, I was able to hear Perry Como. THEN I saw that you’d included a link. I just went back to my childhood and hearing this from my parents stero.
    Your images are truly wonderful. I wish I had even a small measure of your talent.

    • Music affects us in many ways, but certainly there is the strong ability to revive memories, particularly from our youth. The song has the same effect for me.

      Thank you very much. Have a great weekend.

  6. Pingback: Under the Milky Way | Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera

  7. Well, these are wonderful!! πŸ˜€ I would love to see that kind of night sky. I did notice those little streaks, and wondered if they were shooting stars. I got lucky in seeing a whole load of them when I was a child. One clear night in the village we lived at the time, the sky was alive with them. That was about forty years ago…I’ve never seen them since. They are quite magical to watch in the sky. Like tiny UFO’s!! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you. I believe shooting stars are very common. It’s just that we don’t see them due to the ambient city lights. I was very lucky to get these shots. Not something you can plan for, is it? πŸ™‚

  8. Ah, I see Ive been away too long – what gorgeous photos, perfectly done. And I hate, hate, hate to say it, but I remember the Perry Como song – very well! It certainly fits the serendipity of your experience.

    • Thank you very much. I know what you mean. If I think about it, I can hear it as clearly as if it were yesterday. When life seemed simpler. Now I’m feeling nostalgic. πŸ™‚

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