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The NEOWISE Comet, Old Faithful, and the Milky Way

The NEOWISE C/2020 F3 comet along with the Milky Way during an eruption of Old Faithful photographed at 12:20am Wednesday morning in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

This was my second night in a row photographing the comet here. For this night I came prepared with 3 different cameras/lenses/tripods as I wanted to photograph it at different focal lengths.

This shot here was with my Olympus 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens. Wanting to get the comet, Old Faithful, and the Milky Way in the same shot I positioned myself along the boardwalk where the comet would be framed to the left of Old Faithful.



I had all 3 cameras set and ready waiting for the eruption, and then the wind picked up. Not good because I feared the wind would blow the spray in front of the comet blocking it from view.



Anticipating the eruption at any moment, I quickly re-positioned my cameras twice, each time moving further down the boardwalk to get a little more separation between the comet and where Old Faithful would erupt, hoping I gave enough space to count for the spray. Fortunately Whitney Hall was with me and was a huge help getting things moved and in place.

None of the other photographers there that night wanted to take the risk I was taking, and were all lined up for the comet to the right of Old Faithful so I had the whole area where I was shooting from to myself.

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I spaced my 3 cameras about 40 feet apart from each other, hoping at least one would get an image with no spray blocking the comet. Each camera was set up to take continuous images using the built-in interval shooting mode that I started up on each camera just in time for the eruption.

My last minute changing of positions paid off, as each camera recorded a great shot with no spray blocking the comet 😊

The NEOWISE C/2020 F3 comet after sunset above Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.


Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1X with the M. Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens
Settings: ISO 3200, f1.8, 20s
Software: DxO PhotoLab 3 Elite and Photoshop
Processing Notes: This was a single image. DxO handled the fisheye lens correction and noise brilliantly, and I used 5 different Control Points for local adjustments.

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