Did you ever hear the expression "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? This photo came from an attempt to photograph the Perseid meteors on August 8th, 2022. That was a bit before peak but the forecast didn't look to good so I didn't expect a whole lot. The almost-full moon was another problem because the light brightens the sky and makes the meteors harder to see. But I gave it a try and did manage to catch about 15 meteors, but they were faint and not quite what I had hoped for. However... I had a whole nights worth of photos so I decided to blend them all together to make a star trails photo instead, and I love the result!
Meteors are fast -- the streaks of light last only a second or two -- so the way to catch them in a photo is to set up the camera to take one short exposure after another, all night long. That's exactly what I did, and ended up with over 1600 pictures. But all night long the earth is spinning so in each photo the stars appear to have moved a tiny bit. By taking all 1600 photos and "stacking" them, those slight movements add up and show up as light trails, which you see in the photo.
Of course there are more bright things in the sky besides stars, planets, and meteors; I also captured satellite and airplane lights and spent quite a lot of time removing them from the image but I'm sure there are a few that I missed. If you examine the picture closely and see a streak of light, it is probably a satellite or airplane trail but might be a meteor.
I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I did creating it.
Equipment and Software:
Nikon Z6II camera
Nikkor Z 14-30 f/4.5 lens
Foreground: 1 x 60-sec ISO400 f/8 14mm
Stars: 1605 x 13-sec ISO640 f/4.5 14mm
PixInsight for photo cleanup and stacking to star trails
Gimp for blending foreground and star trails
darktable for color and final touchups