I say better luck. But what I really mean is better preparation.
I had booked myself into an Airbnb in the village of Valrovina in what looked to be a good location – high in the hillsides, fantastic view out over the landscape, remote. This place should prove to be ideal to view the Perseids meteor shower.
However, my “planning” was not the best. To use the word “planning” is a bit of a misdescription to be honest. It was more “right, nice view from that Airbnb, should be fine”. On arrival, I was perfectly happy – it was definitely a great place to stay for a week and enjoy the surrounding countryside.
The first sunset was pretty awesome and I sat there on the terrace watching the changing light as my camera ran a “holy grail” timelapse (capturing the full period of sunset and going on into the darkened night sky). Next day on reviewing the astro part of the timelapse, I started to realise that my “planning” may not be up to scratch. Plenty of light pollution. Turns out that one of the major manufacturing bases in Italy is in the Vicenze area – you can guess which area my terrace looked out over. So, plenty of light pollution.
Ok, light pollution is a pain when it comes to astrophotography, however the Perseids are in likely to be coming from the opposite direction. Easy, just spin the camera around and shoot in the other direction, you would guess. Eh, not so much. The joy of staying in an Airbnb on the hillside in the Italian alpine foothills is that you are on the middle of a hill, with a big slope on one side. So, light pollution to the front, giant hillside to the rear. And to the left, and to the right.
The hillside and the Perseids were in exactly the same direction – right behind me. “Planning”-wise, not remotely ideal. However, I did manage to salvage the situation and get some decent shots of one or two Perseids as they crossed the sky towards the Vicenze area, and also exactly one shot of some Perseids crossing the Milky Way. Not too shabby, but definitely room for improvement.
Next year, I definitely need to find some dark sky locations with minimal light pollution. I definitely need to find that dark sky location which has unblocked views towards the region of the sky from which the Perseids emerge. Next year… better planning