Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nighttime Glow of Cedar Rapids on the First Day of Spring

During a second evening dedicated to photographing Comet Pan-Starrs, the city of of Cedar Rapids presented itself as a more attainable target than the fading ice ball in space. From the hill where Mount Mercy University sits you can see much of the downtown area of Cedar Rapids including the historic Quaker Oats mill. However from this perspective the comet would be located far to the right (off frame) and near the horizon.

Much more evident in this photo, which is slightly to the left (south) of the previous shot, is the force of the northern wind. In the 23 F air the windchill had to be -700 F. That's what it felt like. These photos show the extent of mercury or sodium vapor (orangish glow) light pollution. Unfortunately that glow was also evident in my photos of the comet too.


  1. EXCELLENT shots Andy.

  2. say what you will about those lights they sure do make for some gorgeous pix!

  3. So...tripod...very slow shutter...right?

    1. Yes, use a tripod to get these kinds of shots. However if you are downtown and close to light sources you don't necessarily need a tripod because your exposure times will be much quicker.

      The Quaker Oats photo was an 8 second exposure at 400 ISO, the downtown photo with the smoke was 10 seconds at 400 ISO. Have fun doing this.