Earlier in the day, I had consulted a light pollution map to find an ideal viewing position. The Tulip Viaduct in Greene County has been on my “to drone” list for several years, but I had never been there. Completed in 1906, the 2,295-foot bridge stands 157 feet above the ground and is quite a spectacular sight in the daytime – or so I’m told. From the map, it seemed like a decent place to see the comet in the northwestern night sky. I knew I had picked a decent viewing spot when I arrived. After parking my car along a gravel county road, I could not see much on the ground with the naked eye. The stars shimmered wonderfully overhead.
Using the Night Sky app on my iPhone, I was able to locate the general vicinity of the comet in the sky. A test shot with my camera of the night sky helped me zero in on its actual location. Using the Canon EOS R‘s flip screen and 10x digital magnification I was able to manually focus on the comet’s blue-green dot shining from some 70 million miles from Earth. I used a Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8 to capture wider shots with the viaduct and road in the frame and a Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 for the tighter shots. Originally I had toyed with the idea of taking a 300 mm f/2.8 lens with various teleconverters, but in hindsight I’m glad I did not. The 70-200 mm lens was plenty and the 300 mm lens would have been overkill.
I’ve always been fascinated by space, but even more so in this crazy year. I wonder if the public fascination with Comet NEOWISE is envy on the part of all of us who would much rather be spending our 2020 on an icy, dusty comet instead of here on Earth.
Comet NEOWISE is seen in the night sky near the Tulip Viaduct in rural Greene County, Indiana on Thursday, July 23, 2020. The comet, also known as C/2020 F3, is three-miles wide in diameter traveling at 144,000 mph about 70 million miles from Earth. Exposure: 2.5 seconds, f/2.8, 6400 ISO at 200 mm. (Photo by James Brosher)
Comet NEOWISE is seen in the night sky near the Tulip Viaduct, pictured in silhouette at right, in rural Greene County, Indiana on Thursday, July 23, 2020. Exposure: 20 seconds, f/2.8, 3200 ISO at 24 mm. (Photo by James Brosher)
Hundreds march peacefully against police brutality along Seventh Street from Dunn Meadow at Indiana University Bloomington to the Monroe County Courthouse square on Friday, June 5, 2020. (James Brosher/Indiana University)
Hundreds march peacefully against police brutality around the Monroe County Courthouse square in Bloomington on Friday, June 5, 2020. (James Brosher/Indiana University)
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch speaks with Indiana University Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies Dean Lee A. Feinstein during the America’s Role in the World Conference at IU Bloomington on Friday, March 6, 2020. (James Brosher/Indiana University)
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch speaks during the America’s Role in the World Conference at IU Bloomington on Friday, March 6, 2020. (James Brosher/Indiana University)
About a month ago I had the opportunity to photograph some faculty members in the Piano Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. My goal going in was to create a simple and replicable headshot style. I fired one Profoto B1 camera right feathering the light across the subjects’ faces through a 36-inch octa softbox. The texture in the background is a limestone wall about four feet behind the subjects.
Penn State’s Mike Watkins (24) falls to the floor as he looks to pass during a NCAA men’s basketball game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Photo by James Brosher)
Penn State’s Lamar Stevens (11) works against Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis (4) during a NCAA men’s basketball game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Photo by James Brosher)