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Last night I thought I had fun, hearing both thunder and fireworks, but these guys could not just hear but also see not two but three spectacular things simultaneously – fireworks (left), comet McNaught (center) and lightning (right). And this was all captured in one of the most exciting photos I have seen recently, bound to win all sorts of “Picture of the Year” contests come December:

Comet Between Fireworks and Lightning, picture taken by Antti Kemppainen:

i-e0486237e2b45f59e0e8a0eb779d4e1c-Australian sky.jpg

Click here to see it really big!

Explanation:

In January 2007, people from Perth, Australia gathered on a local beach to watch a sky light up with delights near and far. Nearby, fireworks exploded as part of Australia Day celebrations. On the far right, lightning from a thunderstorm flashed in the distance. Near the image center, though, seen through clouds, was the most unusual sight of all: Comet McNaught. The photogenic comet was so bright that it even remained visible though the din of Earthly flashes. Comet McNaught has now returned to the outer Solar System and is now only visible with a large telescope. The above image is actually a three photograph panorama digitally processed to reduce red reflections from the exploding firework.

Comments

  1. #1 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    July 5, 2008

    The above image is actually a three photograph panorama digitally processed to reduce red reflections from the exploding firework.

    Translation: it’s a fake.

  2. #2 Coturnix
    July 5, 2008

    I would argue that it is work of excellent craft and art, making an impossible but beautiful image by using the modern available tools.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    July 5, 2008

    A panorama is not a fake if the pictures are stitched together representing what was really there. In a sense, every pixel is independent and stitched to every other pixel…. this is the same thing en masse.

    Or is this a fake?

  4. #4 Scott Belyea
    July 5, 2008

    Translation: it’s a fake.

    Nonsense … unless you’re prepared to brand every photo you’ve seen on the net or in print as a fake with no evidence to that effect.

  5. #5 Sven DiMilo
    July 5, 2008

    bound to win all sorts of “Picture of the Year” contests come December

    In January 2007…

    Retroactive contests?

    It’s “fake” in the sense that it’s three separate photographs combined…the lightning and bursting fireworks shown were not simultaneous. The digital processing bothers me less. Sure is cool-looking though.

  6. #6 Coturnix
    July 5, 2008

    I don’t know when the actual picture was posted – it could have been 2008 as it is just making the rounds now.

  7. #7 tincture
    July 5, 2008

    It’s “fake” in the sense that it’s three separate photographs combined…the lightning and bursting fireworks shown were not simultaneous.

    Where does it say that?

  8. #8 stephenk
    July 5, 2008

    The photo has been kicking around since early 2007. I saw it not long after the comet itself (within a few weeks).

    My not nearly as good picture of McNaught:
    http://toohardtodo.blogspot.com/2007/01/comet-mcnaughton.html

    The picture in question is still an excellent picture, but it is a stitch of three separate events (I believe). So I think it is a “fake” in that sense. I have done a similar thing (but far less sophisticated),
    http://picasaweb.google.com/swkswk62/Best200Europe2006/photo#5116714669908826514
    It was for humourous effect. I wouldn’t hesitate to call that a fake, even though the person was really there.

    Stephenk

  9. #9 stephenk
    July 5, 2008

    Tincture
    It doesn’t say anywhere that the photos were not simultaneous, but they couldn’t have been if it is a stitched photo, assuming only one camera was used.
    IIRC the photos were taken as time exposures (see the fuzzy people) so the events shown were not simultaneous, but were spread out over a few minutes or longer.

    Stephenk

  10. #10 Lassi Hippeläinen
    July 6, 2008

    Even if the moments weren’t simultaneous, the events were.

  11. #11 bigTom
    July 6, 2008

    Reminds me of a picture I saw that was taken during the severe Alaskan fire season a few years back. It was titled between heaven and hell, and had the Northern lights shining above the glow of a forest fire.

  12. #13 Sapere Aude
    July 7, 2008

    It is an impression graphical work. I would disaggree that it would win best photo of the year since it has been altered by combining 3 pictures in one.

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