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Video: Geminid Meteor Shower


The Geminid meteor shower was spectacular this year. For this event, I headed out to the Eastern Sierras, around the Alabama Hills, and to Joshua Tree National park for 3 nights and 2 days. I was lucky enough not just to film the meteor shower under mostly clear skies, but I also filmed some amazing sunrise shots as well.

Because I was filming the night sky, I slept on location while the camera was clicking away. It’s a magical feeling falling asleep with nothing over my head but the sky and the universe.

Seeing the meteors also got me thinking: there are no do-overs in life. Like a meteor that burns up while entering Earth’s atmosphere, there are no rewind buttons or undo commands to make up for missed opportunities, lost time, should-haves, could-haves, mistakes or regrets. Whether we like it or not life keeps moving with or without us.

Life is fleeting. Each moment unique, precious and temporary. Opportunities, like meteors, may only last for a few moments and then is gone forever. And you never know when another will come again. It may be the next second. Or you may have to wait a whole life time.

Meteor showers don’t happen all the time. Amazing sunrises don’t just show up every day. Life’s opportunities don’t just knock on the door every day. And when they do occur, it is always just for a short period of time.

Don’t let your special moments slip away. Whether it’s love, friendship, family or business, take action. Follow your heart. Because if you wait or do nothing, the decision, or lack of decision, will come back to haunt you later.

This is why I titled the film “Fleeting Light: The High Desert and the Geminid Meteor Shower.” The gorgeous moments captured on film — the meteor showers and the sun rises — are now long gone.

In the film, you’ll see a lot of meteors. Sometimes 2 in the same frame. You’ll also see some airplanes and their trails. How do you tell the difference? Meteors last 1 or 2 frames at the most. Airplanes move a lot slower so they last for more frames. Some of the brighter ones will have a green tint near the head or tail of the streak. To really enjoy this film, I suggest watching in HD. Of course, watching this doesn’t beat the experience of actually sitting underneath the stars yourself. I was counting dozens per hour at the peak of the shower Monday night.

Music soundtrack is titled Happiness. It is a song from Jónsi and Alex’s Riceboy Sleeps. This track was performed live by Jónsi & Alex with the Hilliard Ensemble, Latvian National Choir, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Jeffrey Milarsky (Conductor).

Filming was done between Dec. 12 and Dec. 14, 2010 with a Canon 5D Mk II using both video (during the day) and timelapse stop motion techniques (during the night). Surprisingly the only lens I used was the Canon 16-35mm 2.8L. This ultrawide angle lens is essential to capture a wide swath of the sky. A headlamp was used to illuminate foreground objects in the night shots while high iso was used to see the milky way.


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5 thoughts on “Video: Geminid Meteor Shower

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by beatozawa?HOTBEAT), Henry Jun Wah Lee. Henry Jun Wah Lee said: A few words about the new film on my blog. http://fb.me/Gx8xHZWL […]

  2. […] info about this film: photography.evosia.com/?2010/?12/?15/?geminid-meteor-shower/? This entry was posted in Art. Bookmark the permalink. ← Herschel Supply […]

  3. […] More info about this film: photography.evosia.com/?2010/?12/?15/?geminid-meteor-shower/? […]

  4. […] Henry Jun Wah Lee’s website he explains what you will see in the video, “In the film, you’ll see a lot of meteors. […]

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