Photo Essay

A Divine Christmas Gift (I've Never Caught "A Fish" This BIG)


I love light painting. I've been making long exposure photographs since 1989. But in all that time, I have never received the blessing as I have this day after Christmas...a real welcome back to Maui moment, and a comet capture I'll never forget.

Let me ask you, dear reader, How many photos of a person, no less a Selfie have you ever seen where they were appearing with a Meteor (that wasn't mocked up)? I might call this photo, "I was picked by God (to receive this special blessing)"

IMHO this Christmas Capture is a totally rare occurrence. A Divine synchronicity and most deLIGHTFUL serendipity...wouldn't you say?

I was trying out my new F2.8 24mm lens. I figured, "now that I've returned to Hawaii and its awesome pitch blackness of the starry night sky, I should have a lens fast enough to get the goods!"

It was the day after Christmas. I prepared to take a series of images to test the lens and then make a timelaspe, moonrise-movie; of the moon's accent through the clouds.

Since my exposures were long, I decided to practice my light painting while I was at it. I was fine tuning my exposure and ISO settings and making a series of images when this last one, stopped me in my tracks.

When I got back to the camera I had to rub my eyes! Were they deceiving me? Or did I actually capture the start AND FINISH of a comet's interaction with Earth's atmosphere?

For sure it was a glancing blow - as indicated by the nodes of light, skipping along the fiery path. This "gift-of-God" was so perfectly timed; and incredible that my exposure was right on to capture the meteor!

I thought maybe my special light painting brush (flashlight) had shot a glancing ray toward the lens? After all, I had over exposed myself a bit and moved during the exposure. But no...

Upon closer examination, I realized I had managed to record a Meteor that appears to have struck the outer atmosphere at a glancing angle - like a thrown flat stone skipping over the water.

This object (man made or God made??) dipped into the atmosphere several times before flying back into space (or disintegrating?). You can actually see the bright nodes of light as contact with Earths atmosphere increased its temperature and brighter burn...before continuing its flight or maybe fizzling out of existance just before the end of my exposure! Amazing!

I consider myself a very honored photographer for being given such a welcome home gift by God. A blessing for sure, don't you think? I'm seeking verification and discovery of what exactly this flying, no doubt wingless wonder I captured, actually was? I went up to the Astronomy Institute here on Maui, but all were away for the holidays.

The image was recorded at 7pm in Kihei, Hawaii, with a Canon 60D. I shot at ISO 4000, f/5 at 15 seconds with a brand new Canon 24mm f2.8 Macro lens. What a divine Christening Capture this meteor provided for the first use of my new lens! I had purchased it specifically, to image the stars in the amazing blackness of the Hawaiian night sky.

Have you ever seen any other images of a person, who was captured with a (supposed) eon's old flying fragment of matter, that magically appeared in the same photograph!?

I bet someone at the tracking stations on top of Mt. Haleakala would have a clue to what the object actually was? I'll let you know if I find out any details of this historic Magical Maui Moment.

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1 response

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (10 Jan 2016):

    WoW!!! So beautiful photography and the vote!!!

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