Photographing Comet Lovejoy


On Christmas Day I read that we were in the last few days to view a naked-eye comet [I wonder if that “n” word will get me extra hits from Google]. I still regret having been on holidays for the duration of the Great Comet of 2007, and knowing nothing of it until it had gone. So although this was not a spectacular comet, it was a cool one – there is that NASA video of it getting a slingshot ride around the sun:

(c) NASA

Brilliant work NASA. Great video postproduction too. Much better than that dodgy Photoshop job I blogged about once.

I’m sure you’d agree that with such excellent work from NASA, and so much good Comet Lovejoy work on Flickr, it wouldn’t really matter how well I went photographing it, wouldn’t you? (please?)

I stayed awake until 4AM. My daughter set her alarm and came too. I remembered as a child how my Dad had been caught up in the hype about Comet Kouhetek, and what a letdown that was.  I’m just repeating family history here, I thought, as we drove to the beach with the least street lights. And… well, I was.

Here’s my photograph of Comet Lovejoy, as NOT seen from the sourth end of Mulambin Beach, way too early on Boxing Day, 2011.

Comet Lovejoy not appearing early Boxing Day 2011

Comet Lovejoy not appearing early Boxing Day 2011

abandoned shirt found in lieu of comet lovejoy

abandoned shirt found in lieu of comet lovejoy

See the shirt? We didn’t at the time. Everything was much dimmer to human eyes. If we had seen the abandoned shirt, we could have picked it up, and kept it as a souvenir . I imagine it would have looked like this:

Not that I’m complaining. You don’t need a comet punctuating the frame to find beauty in the pre-dawn light on the Capricorn Coast.

inward tide

inward tide

another Mulambin morning

Sow and Calf Rocks

(I made that last name up. Can you tell? I don’t know what these islands visible from Mulambin are. Maybe another local could enlighten me?)

There’s a whole other story I could tell about these images, and I will if people show much interest. This was the first time I went out to shoot with my new gear, a D7000 with Tamron 18-270 lens. The D7000 performs very well in low light. The ever so convenient Tamron lens performs a bit roughly as a long zoom or a short wide. Photoshop CS5’s lens correction does such a magic job at remedying the flaws.

But that’s it for now. If anyone has any REAL photos of Comet Lovejoy, please do share by putting a link in the comments.

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About postdigitalblog

Lecturer in Multimedia at CQUni Wrangler of young kids @ home in Yeppoon Otherwise, photographer and digital media type.
This entry was posted in photography, Yeppoon and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Photographing Comet Lovejoy

  1. Dave says:

    I like the photos, especially the last one, even if they are digital!

  2. ceciliag says:

    comet or no, there is something utterly disarming in the beach at sunrise!.. c

  3. oneowner says:

    The comet is a no-show but you got some outstanding shots. That makes up for the comet.

  4. eremophila says:

    Thanks for the giggles, and reminding me about the non-event/let down on Halley’s comet. I was living out bush, no light pollution at all. Got up early hours of damn chilly desert morning, and looked at it and thought – is that all?????
    You’ve given something precious to your daughter – an adventure with her father, and a family tradition to carry on 🙂
    Love the inward tide pic particularly.

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