ISS Pass – July 18th

A “so-so” pass I believe is how I referred to it last night. Well, yes and no.

Yes — it didn’t get super high and bright. Which, I now know, means that it’s only about the same brightness as all of those 737’s and 777’s out there. Not quite “dim.”

No — now that I’m getting my act together and making sure that I focus correctly and got much better control of the manual settings of the camera, it still makes some nice pictures!

A lot going on here – the ISS is the trail from just to the left of below center, passing behind the top of the big tree, then up to the middle right. The other things are aircraft.

What I forgot was to trust my data and start shooting about 30 seconds before Heavens-Above said that the ISS would rise. I waited until I saw it. Trust your data!

These are five-second exposures since I wasn’t facing straight into the street light and it was well past dusk. A couple of cars rolled by while I was shooting, and their headlights (and brake lights, lower right) lit up those trees nicely. But even the mountain a mile away behind the palm trees (not burning tonight) is well lit. Of course, the other factor is shooting at f3.5 instead of f5.6.

Then it was time to shift the camera – yeah, I did a much better job of making sure I took pictures until the ISS was at the edge of the frame! But there’s a street light over there too…

But there’s also a telephone pole.

The ISS is the upper trail here, starting just to the left of the telephone pole in the middle, headed toward the lower left corner. Again, the other trails are aircraft headed into Burbank.

Getting there! Planning ahead, focus, proper camera settings… It’s almost going to be like I know what I’m doing!


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