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The Celestial Visitor:




For a while now, I had been amde aware of a comet, which was due to brighten in magnification from March onwards and was beginning to see the first images of the comet coming through. Therefore I decided to give it a go and to see if I could photograph the infamous, Comet 12/P Pons Brooks from Somerset.


This comet has an orbital period of around ever 71-years; so if I did not get it this time, it may well be a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Fortunately for me in Somerset, we had clear skies in our faovur for once. This was during the time when the comet was passing relateively close to the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). The relatively close conjunction between the two were making for some stunning compositions and this was one I could not afford to miss..


Then there is the old-age question with Photography. You know what you want to photograph, but what do you photograph it with in terms of a subject? There are always iconic landmarks but they are photographed qute often. FOr this one I wanted something that was unique to me and that is why I decided to photograph the comet from my homelands of The Mendips Hills in Somerset.


There are some beautiful places here on The Mendips and as with any locations in Photography, I have comed to learn it was a matter of trial and error. So with a rough idea of where Andromeda anf 12/P were going to be, I headed out with clear skies overhead.


I must admit, it was not an easy captures by any stretch. Where I eventually decided on was right next to the edge of a thorny bush so not ideal - but as visual artists, we know what things look like and sometimes you need to make comprimises to get that shot.


What really was an eye-opener for me and should not have come as a surprise, was the amount of light pollution surrounding The Mendips which could not necessarilly be detected by the unaided eye but more so by using longer expsures.


This was when I saw the comet and it was indeed visible. But not to the same extent as I had seen by other photographers capturing the comet from Bortle-Scale 1 locations. Regardless, it was putting Somerset on the map and before I knew it, this image took off.


Days later, I found out this image was picked up by Television, The Radio and The Press. Below are a section of newspaper inserts from The Times, Daily Express and Daily Star.



The biggest hommage for me, was to have my image recognised by The World At Night (TWAN):



This is an initiative I have wanted to be apart of for a long time and followed the work of this initative since I was a youngster. The World At Night (TWAN) is an international effort to present stunning nightscape photos and timelapse videos of the world’s landmarks against celestial attractions. TWAN is a bridge between art, science, and culture.

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