Photographing Comet Neowise Over Kelowna

After seeing so much hype around Comet Neowise, I knew I had to get in on the action for myself or face the consequences of feeling FOMO for 7,000 years (the next time Neowise will be back in our neck of the woods). Beyond actually seeing the comet for myself, I also knew I needed to attempt photographing it.

From July 13th-15th, Comet Neowise could be seen just after sunset towards the North East. This window was my best chance of getting a photo, as I am not sure if or when there will be a chance for the rest of the month. It took two attempts for me to get my photo. The first was on the 13th at Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park, with no luck. That didn't dampen my spirits though. I set out the next night again, this time to Kuipers Peak, and with a little more information in tow. Turns out the day before we were looking for it too close to the horizon and were too early in the night. This time saw it in the sky almost immediately after leaving the house.

It was a truly remarkable, fulfilling experience. We spent a couple of hours on top of Kuipers sitting and enjoying the view. In front of us, we had Comet Neowise, and behind us, the Milky Way made an appearance. I spent all of that time experimenting with my camera, trying to get the best photo possible. It was a fun learning experience as an astrophotographer. I was initially hesitant about getting a good shot because I assumed I would need a telephoto lens. But, as it turns out using a wide-angle lens worked the best for me. While getting a close up of the comet would have been nice, I am a sucker for capturing context with a wider lense. I just love having Kelowna at the bottom of the frame with the comet flying overhead.

My favorite photo of the night is a timelapse of the comet's movement over the course of half an hour. It took seventy photos stacked together to create this image. And while I describe it as the comet's movement, it is really an image of the earth rotating in relation to the stars. Still, it creates a surreal scene. Comet Neowise is seen in the bottom right of the sky, its tail looks like a streak in the image.

I hope everyone gets a chance to view this once in a lifetime comet. It is a truly worthwhile experience.


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