ISS Challenge

I won a photography competition.  The competition was for a picture of the International Space Station – the ISS.   Of course, I did not have access to a high powered NASA telescope so I had to figure out how to capture the ISS within the landscape.

Glastonbury Tor at Night - Somerset, UK. ID 810_5828

Glastonbury Tor at Night – Somerset, UK. ID 810_5828

I decided to take a picture of the ISS behind Glastonbury Tor as it is the most iconic landmark close to my home.  I had to wait several days for a clear night when the ISS would be in a good position.

The Perfect Night

I go work at 6am in the morning so for me staying up late is a rare event.  But after what felt like weeks of cloudy evenings the night sky was going to be perfect.

Glastonbury Tor at Night - Somerset, UK. ID 810_5831

Glastonbury Tor at Night – Somerset, UK. ID 810_5831

The moon was nearly full and high in the top-left sky.  It was perfect for illuminating the face of the tower, covering it with the moon shadows of the stone work.  The sun had long set so the orange glow in not the sunset.  Its the street lights of Glastonbury shining up into the sky.

A few people, also sharing the view, created shadowy figures as they moved around during the long 30 second exposures needed to get enough light into the camera.

And Finally…

I tried several view points before choosing a square on shot of the Tor looking through the archway.  It was very cold and windy and I had to hold on to my tripod to keep the camera steady.

The picture was one of a series of pictures taken as the ISS moved across the sky.  This was my first attempt at night sky photography so camera settings were mainly guess work.  I tried using a mobile app to show me where the ISS would be but with little success.  So I pointed the camera where I expected it to be and hoped for the best.

ISS over Glastonbury Tor - Somerset, UK. ID 810_5836

ISS over Glastonbury Tor – Somerset, UK. ID 810_5836

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