You need a 35 mm camera with time exposure setting (usually indicated by a "B" on the exposure dial), 50 mm focal length lens, and ISO 400 or faster color slide or print film.
Also needed are a tripod and cable release cord (the inexpensive "locking" type sold by most camera shops). Remove haze filter to avoid internal reflections.
At a dark site, mount camera on the tripod, open lens to widest aperture, focus on infinity and point at the northeast sky about half-way between the horizon and overhead. Double-check all settings before proceeding.
With the cable attached to the shutter release button, take consecutive time exposures -- five minutes each under a good sky and 10 minutes each under a very dark sky. Start around 9:15 p.m.
If you follow these instructions, you will definitely be rewarded with some pretty star trail photos.
If you are lucky, a bright Perseid will streak in front of your camera and, that instant, you will become the proud owner of a rare "shooting star" photo. Good luck!
Herman M. Heyn
Questions of Health and Faith
In his July 28 Opinion * Commentary article, Patrick Riley wrote that Dr. Joycelyn Elders is "an insult to people of faith."
What people and which faith is he talking about? I am an Anglo Catholic, and Dr. Elders is far from an insult to my faith. I heard her speak at a Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights Conference and I think she will make an outstanding surgeon general.
Professor Riley fails to make clear just how the concern which Dr. Elders shows for the health and welfare of adolescents is an assault on religious belief. Furthermore, he ignores the fact that religious documents such as the Bible are not always clear and unambiguous on sexual or other mores.
Professor Riley faults Dr. Elders for saying, "Look who's fighting the pro-choice movement: a celibate male-dominated church."
"This pretty well identified the church she was complaining about," says Mr. Riley. I agree with Mr. Riley that it describes those in power in the Roman Catholic Church.
However, if he were to read literature from Catholics for a Free Choice, Mr. Riley would learn that many Roman Catholic lay persons are as critical of the celibate, male domination of the church as is Dr. Elders.
I wish Professor Riley were more precise in his language.
He says that there is media bias against the Catholic church, but I know that I, at least in my role as an Anglo Catholic, am not a victim of media bias. Therefore, I assume that when Professor Riley uses the term Catholic Church, he means Roman Catholic Church.
Professor Riley's statistics on pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in Arkansas are meaningless without comparable statistics for the whole United States.
One last point. I do not see how Professor Riley's ad hominem statements such as "Dr. Elders broadcasts hair-raising ideas" or his implications that Dr. Elders is a pagan with a pagan's disregard for both life and sex clarify his premise that "Elders is an insult to people of faith."
His argument has done nothing to change my respect for Dr. Elders and my hope that she will soon be serving as surgeon general of the United States.