SHOOTING STARS – an evening with Ray Reeder

Well, the star of Tuesday evening’s session was definitely Ray Reeder! He produced a very well put together presentation of night sky photography.  All images were from his extensive travels, and showed the range of night sights that can be captured, from the moon, to stars, planets, eclipses, and the Northern Lights. He showed how these photos could be enhanced with editing software to bring out the highlights of the night sky,  and also the amazing amount of light that was given off by the moon.

To complement this, Ray gave advice on location, light pollution, exposure times, aperture, and other settings. He also touched on the best times for capturing specific features such as moon set. (I am very keen to have a go at star trails, and also a decent photo of the moon – in whatever phase it happens to be at the time.)

As well as his projected presentation, Ray had brought along several of his prints of the night sky, which were of a very high standard. I thought them particularly inspiring, and so did the people around me.

To end the evening, Ray gave a brief session on how to produce all-in-one prints and mounts, of the sort that Phil Binks showed us a couple of weeks ago.

Thank you, Ray, for all the hard work you put in to give us such a good evening. We all appreciated it very much.


Ray is willing to organise a night sky shoot. See his separate entry on the blog.

I threw together a rather sketchy astronomical calendar, and also some advice I found on the ‘net about shooting the night skies.

I have reproduced the former here, and you can have copies of the latter if you e-mail me.

Check out the Astronomical League on the web, and also


A few snippets of Night sky info

10 Feb New moon

15 Feb Asteroid

25 Feb Full Moon

11 March New moon

20 March Equinox at approx 11.02 – sun will shine directly on the equator in nearly equal amounts of daylight throughout the world.

20 April Astronomy Day, Pt 1. This is a worldwide event (apparently) so look on the web to find out what’s happening in this area.

21-22 April Peak of the Lyrid meteor shower – 20 meteors/hr

25 April partial eclipse

28 April Saturn will be at its closest to the earth

5-6 May Peak of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower – 10 meteors/hr

28 May Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in the evening sky (I think they will be 1 degree apart), and Mercury will also be visible towards the west near sunset.

13 Aug Perseids

21 Oct Orinids

17 Nov Leonids

13 Dec Geminids

Hope this is of use. Mary


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