It’s been a strange vacation because we’re not going anywhere and it feels like I might as well be working, but I have had a few opportunities to relax with my camera. I have Neowise to thank for that. My first attempt to capture the comet was scrubbed because I got up too late, but this past Saturday I got a second chance.
I have a friend who is a member of the Red Dragon Canoe Club, which is just north of Palmyra. It was as an ideal spot to capture the comet in these parts because the club is situated across the Delaware from a state park. The reduction in light pollution wasn’t like heading out of the Philly area, but it was enough to make capturing the comet possible.
And capture it we did.
I took both my Nikon D7000 and my Panasonic G7 along with me, placing a 55-300mm on the Nikon and my 7.5mm fisheye on the Panasonic. I wanted to capture some close up shots of the comet, but hoped the 7.5mm would capture both the comet and the landscape. I knew this had the potential to be a much more interesting photograph. I was not disappointed. Two folks present at the club had binoculars, which was essential because they were the ones who spotted the comet for us 1.
Once we were given a general area to capture, everyone started capturing the sky. I was amazed when I reviewed my photos on my D7000 and saw Neowise on the screen. The lens I had on my Nikon was slow, ƒ/4.5 was the maximum aperture, but even so the comet showed up clear as can be.
My G7 was another story, as the small sensor size can make capturing light more difficult. The lens I had on the body was fast, ƒ/1.7, but I had to experiment with the best settings for capturing the comet. In my earliest shots, with 2-5second exposures at high ISO 2, the comet showed up, but the stars were absent. Toward the end of our session I changed tactics and lowed my ISO and began taking 30 second exposures. At the lower ISO I didn’t get as many stars as I’d want, but Ursa Major was prominent, as was Neowise. And the reflections off the river are magnificent. If I had a chance I’d go back and take some exposures with higher apertures to see if I could coax more of the stars to show up, but I’m very pleased with what I was able to capture. My favorite image is below, the rest of my favorites can be found on my Smugmug page.
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