Neowise comet meets lightning

By Ian Middleton

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This website and its articles contain links and adverts. The adverts and some links, but not all, are affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy something I will receive a small percentage of money, but at no extra cost to you. The price remains the same if you buy.

In MOther Nature's Favour

Most times when doing outdoor photography, Mother Nature seems to be working against you. However, once in a while she rewards you for your patience. On this night she gave me the ultimate reward when photographing Neowise Comet around midnight.
 
This was the third night trying to photograph Neowise over the Kamnik Alps in Slovenia. Upon arrival at this location near the Ljubljana Airport, there was a lightning storm in the distance over the mountain peaks. Most of the flashes were further north, but then it moved and began over Storzic and right next to Neowise.
 

How to capture lightning

Now it’s impossible to predict when lightning will strike, and you cannot capture it by simply shooting when you see the flash. You are just not quick enough. Therefore you need to use a long exposure and keep firing in the hope of a lightning flash during the exposure.
 
Here I was shooting 10 second exposures. The other issue is that if the lightning hits during the early stage of the exposure, its intensity is diminished in the photo. This is because for the rest of the exposure the camera sees black, so it essentially starts to draw over it. This happened in a couple of previous shots.
 

Just at the right time

But……. Here the flash of lightning came right at the end of my exposure and the shutter literally clicked off right after it! I can honestly say I did a little dance of joy in the darkness after viewing this on the preview screen.

View of Neowise over the kamnik Alps with Storzic mountain to the right.
View of Neowise over the kamnik Alps with Storzic mountain to the right.

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