Breaking this down into where to shoot, what to shoot, how to shoot, and how to process.
Where To Shoot:
City Parks (You will get city lights obscuring your view)
- Green Lake Park: North Seattle – 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N (preferred)
- Solstice Park: West Seattle – 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW in Seattle
- Don Armeni Boat Ramp
Out of City (2 hour+ drive)
- Campground on Lake Kachess (preferred)
- Ozette Lake
- Staircase Campground
- Bowman Bay Campground
What to Shoot:
It’s called the Geminid Meteor Shower because of it’s position in the sky in the Gemini region. It’s to the east of us, though they expect it to be able to be spotted in all areas of the sky, so pointing the camera straight up should work as well. If the weather cooperates, and you are in a place with low lights, this should be impressive.
Peak Time. The peak should be at 3pm- past when most local parks close.
Radiant Point. This is the center of where the meteors are seeming to cluster. This is actually a moving target; my recommendation would be to catch it before the peak at a sky line. It starts being visible at 9pm to the east.
Focusing on stars. This is harder than people seem to think it is- though this is very forgiving since the scene you are shooting is so large. Turn on live viewing mode (something most photographers don’t ever use because of the delays in shooting time). Set to times ten and focus on a star. It will still seem a little blurry, but chances are you will start to see stars around the star you were focusing on.
How to shoot:
You will want to shoot from a Tripod. You are going to want to take longer shots to guarantee you capture some of the night sky. These are best with limited movement- many people also recommend a remote trigger to prevent your triggering to cause the camera to shake.
Learn how to use an intervalometer. A version of this is built into your camera- it’s just learning to set your camera to take a photo every 30 seconds. This way you more plug and play then you are really trying for the perfect shots yourself.
Wide, Fast Lens. 14-24mm recommended, with f/2.8-f.4. If you don’t have a lens at that focal length, do your best to keep it in the suggest keeping it at the fasted range (lowest number)
Shutter Speed and ISO. This should take experimenting depending where you are at. My experimenting with rain water makes me want to recommend ISO 1600 with a shutter speed of 15-30 seconds when photographing at night.
Shift View Point for larger photos. Want an unbelievably large photo? You are better off trying to sync multiple photos together by rotating the camera then you are really trying to capture all those images at one. This is a very common practice for catching skylines.
Longer Shutter speeds. I recommended 30 seconds, but people argue for taking 15 minutes per shot. This can make it hard to experiment.
How to post process:
Stack images. This is the most common trick. People normally don’t catch enough meteors in any given shower to have an impressive photo. So they stack the photo to create more in a frame. You’ll end up going frame by frame blending images.