My colleague Peter Swanson phoned me as I was selecting my camera gear for our trip to The Exumas this past August. “We’re timing this trip perfectly,” he said. “There is a new moon and the Perseid meteor showers will be happening while we’re there. Bring your tripod.” Because it comes with me everywhere, the tripod was already packed. But I am not in tune with the phases of the moon, nor do I pay much heed to which planets are visible in the night sky. The truth is, living in a population center like I do, even on clear nights, I am not used to gazing skyward.
Luckily for us, this trip to The Bahamas—specifically to the remote and sparsely populated Exumas—would mean leaving light pollution behind for a few nights. Peter and I took the dinghy to shore in Warderick Wells, set up the tripod on the beach, and snapped a few photos. Well, I snapped a few photos while Peter rested in the bow of the dinghy and admired the view.
There are probably a million things that a professional star-shooter would find wrong with this photo, but to me it was well worth the time spent. And with digital technology, there is no reason not to shoot hundreds of frames until you get something you like. Who knows, you might just pick up a new hobby.