After a sunset shoot down on Western beach with the red rock cliffs lit up beautifully by the setting sun, myself and Sue stayed back after everyone had left so we could shoot the first stars appearing before we headed up for dinner. Sue hadn’t photographed any night sky scenes before, so after a quick tutorial on the best camera settings for her 7D, she was on her way.
We were working our way back to the beach entrance, trying different compositions with the sky against the red rock cliffs, and as the sky got darker, the Milky Way appeared and provided a great composition target.
I’d started a 30 second exposure and was standing up looking around when an extremely bright “fireball” (bright shooting star) blazed across the sky from South West to South East. I shouted out to Sue “look look look” and we both saw the amazing sight as it lasted for about 5-6 seconds, with ‘sparks’ trailing off it sped across the sky before fading out.
I raced back to my camera, and with the exposure now finished I quickly looked at the preview screen and saw that I’d captured the fireball in my exposure (so had Sue!!). It looks like an airplane trail, but it’s the light from the shooting star as it was captured by the long exposure.
It was such an adrenalin rush and such a beautiful thing to witness first hand. When we finally made it back to dinner at the restaurant, we couldn’t wait to tell the rest of our group and show them the photo on the back of my camera.
It was the brightest fireball I’ve ever seen and one of my fondest memories from my 2 week Kimberley adventure.
Technical details: Canon 5D Mk II, Samyang 14mm lens @ f/2.8, ISO3200, 30s exposure.
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