Thursday, September 29, 2016

The art of managing frustration

I've been doing night and astrophotography for more than 20 years now and one thing I've learned over the years is managing frustration over bad weather. Missing out on rare events is still difficult to accept but the more common ones is easier to handle.

As for rare events, I almost missed the latest Venus transit in June 2012 due to cloudy weather. That would have been a bummer since the next one isn't until 2117. Here's a photo I got just as the weather cleared up and Venus was clearly visible against the solar disc.

Venus transit in 2012

Another rare event I almost missed was the totalt solar eclipse in March 2015. I was on the Faroe Islands and that time of the year the weather is usually very cloudy so my expectations wasn't that high. But, as you can see by the video capture below, I was very lucky to get a 20 second glimpse of the eclipse when a small opening in the clouds passed the Sun.

Total solar eclipse on Faroe Islands

The more common and yearly events like Northern lights, meteor showers etc. is easier to miss out on. There will always be another Northern light and next year I'll get another go at the Perseid meteor shower.

Strong Northern Lights blocked by clouds

So managing frustration due to bad weather comes down to luck and patience. You can always increase your chances of seeing a rare event by traveling to another location with a better weather forecast. For more common events, patience is you bests friend.

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