Photographing the International Space Station

After I had seen the International Space Station on Friday night I became determined to photograph it. I had been told it would be going past again later that night, so I set my camera up and took some practise shots waiting for it to appear.

The Night SkyI waited and waited and never saw it again that night, much to my disappointment.

Last night I knew it would be passing again so set up my camera ready. It was precariously balanced on a cheap, flimsy tripod with one tripod leg resting on the window ledge of my open window. I set everything up perfectly to face the Cedar tree again, remembering that on Friday it seemed to pass in that direction.

Then all of a sudden a bright light appeared directly above the house, and not in the direction I had set up for at all! The ISS moves quite quickly, and I knew I had to get it right first time because in 30 seconds it would disappear behind whisps of cloud and lose its brightness.

I repositioned the tripod, holding it tight to make sure the whole setup didn’t fall out the window. As I flung it round, the mechanism of the section holding the camera broke and the camera flung backwards. I grabbed it and managed to snap it back, hoping the camera was pointing in the right position. I had it pre-set to a 15 second exposure, so I wouldn’t know if it was positioned correctly until 15 seconds after pressing the shutter, and if it was wrong then the opportunity would be lost. I pressed the shutter and hoped for the best.

Success! Miraculously I got the shot first time. Hooray!

International Space Station Photo
 

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