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Exit the solar system. Comet McNaught. To return in 300,000 years.
1st PlaceExit the solar system. Comet McNaught. To return in 300,000 years.
John White

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Exit (Basic Editing)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS
Location: South Australia
Date: Jan 22, 2007
Aperture: 4
ISO: 800
Shutter: 30 seconds
Date Uploaded: Jan 18, 2007

Photographing Comet McNaught last night at Big Swamp South Australia.
Discovered by Australian Robert McNaught in August 2006.
Canon 5D
RAW converted in Breeze Browser Pro.
2007:01:22 21:42:10
24-105mm @ 24mm
30 sec, f/4
Mode: Manual
Metering: Evaluative
ISO: 800
AF mode: Manual Focus
Drive: Single frame shooting
Self-timer: 10 secs
White balance: Daylight
Flash: Off
File size: 10.8MB
Image size: 4368 x 2912
Color space: AdobeRGB
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: 3
Contrast: Normal
Sharpness level: 3
Tone: Normal
Custom Functions:
CFn 2: Long exposure noise reduction: On

Thanks Guys

Why 24mm focal length?
Shot the week before with a 400mm and missed most of the tail. Wanted to give the comet a sense of scale/size by going wide and including the environment. Cheers John
Yes was cool to be DUGG and get 46,000 views on Flickr! also ran in Newspaper over here. Amazing amount of emails.

Im having fun with this shot!

Just sold it this morning to Discover Magazine USA to be published worldwide :) (they saw it on flickr and contacted me!!!!)

Two covers so far on magazines in Australia as well!

Place: 1 out of 142
Avg (all users): 7.5228
Avg (commenters): 8.6000
Avg (participants): 7.3214
Avg (non-participants): 7.5838
Views since voting: 32445
Views during voting: 507
Votes: 241
Comments: 100
Favorites: 106 (view)

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10/25/2009 10:31:54 PM
beautiful. thanks for sharing.
02/06/2007 04:16:26 PM
I couldn't see this comet very well from where I live, which is in southern New Mexico. I kept hearing reports about how spectacular it was and now I get to see it in this picture.
02/05/2007 02:08:02 PM
Beautiful photograph of the comet, love how you captured the tail. Congratulations on winning the blue ribbon and your other successes coming with the photo.
02/05/2007 01:50:32 AM

Message edited by author 2007-02-24 00:48:25.
02/05/2007 12:38:15 AM
Once again...congratulations on selling your fantastic image to Discover Magazine!! What a honor.

When I buy one of your prints would you consider autographing it to me? Thanks in advance.

02/04/2007 10:03:12 PM
Stunning work John! Congrats on shot and all the accolades, completely deserved... btw, what is DUGG?
02/04/2007 09:34:08 PM
Congrats John, and a well deserved win. You are, without a doubt, one of the finest photographers alive today.
02/04/2007 06:22:50 PM
Well deserved!
02/03/2007 08:58:24 PM
Hi John. Congratulations on the blue with this truly remarkable shot. Well done!
02/03/2007 05:47:14 AM
I would like to have a personal conversation with people who scored 4, 5 and 6 such a picture. And the 2 and 3? Well... Mmmm..
02/03/2007 12:26:36 AM
This night photo has a majestic ambience to it. The olny thing I believe could be left out is that white triangular point towards the bottom. It distracts the eye from the main focus.
02/02/2007 12:10:30 AM
Holy crap! Congrats on your blue! Awesome once in a lifetime shot.
02/01/2007 10:46:11 PM
Wow, man. Congratulations. Brilliant choice to shoot wide and include the trees, lake, etc. Very, very nicely done.
02/01/2007 10:32:26 PM
Outstanding shot. Very unique and excellent colors. Congrats
01/31/2007 10:52:00 PM
I didn't vote for this one (or the sister "entrance" contest) but I am very glad this picture won. I think it deserves to appear in the Astronomy picture of the day site //antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 22:52:47.
01/31/2007 10:03:26 PM
This was my top choice to win, stunning shot! Congratulations on your blue ribbon.
01/31/2007 09:50:26 PM
Excellent catch!
01/31/2007 07:26:15 PM
Amazing capture. Congratulations. Enjoy all the attention. You deserve it!
01/31/2007 07:15:19 PM
Simply stunning image. Once in a lifetime to be sure. I am so glad someone caught this comet on a such wonderful photo!!!

01/31/2007 06:29:03 PM
Spectacular!!! Congratulations on your stunning Blue!!
01/31/2007 05:17:24 PM
Congrats on the blue !
Saw it on Flickr some days ago.
01/31/2007 02:38:39 PM
Very nice shot John. Congrats on your BLUE.
01/31/2007 02:31:36 PM
Awesome image. Congrats on the ribbon.
Fell in love with this when I saw it on Flickr.
01/31/2007 01:53:25 PM
Very cool! Well deserved ribbon
01/31/2007 01:43:50 PM
whoa! This is totally right on beautiful! Congrats!
01/31/2007 10:46:01 AM
This is of coarse supurb! Extremely well done. I'm sure you'll sell many prints including to me. I'm very jealous. Tried to shoot it here but we got a rather unspactactular, barly visible show on the 'entrance' end. Congrats!!!
01/31/2007 10:21:57 AM
Many Congrats on an outstanding capture!!! This photo ROCKS!! Into my Favs it goes!
01/31/2007 10:03:52 AM
This is absolutely spectacular! You took a cosmic event, and brought it down to our home. Amazing shot, love it (could ya tell?)
01/31/2007 09:53:52 AM
Ohmygoodness! You are THE MAN! What a fabulous photo -- and another ribbon so soon! Congratulations on another blue!!!!

01/31/2007 09:25:55 AM
Man, every time I find out about a comet where I am it's cloudy and rainy.


I so envy you. I love space but seldom get to observe any phenomenoms. As said...always rainy.

That's just gorgeous!!!
01/31/2007 08:52:38 AM
You're an 'effin' genius. What a kickass shot! Very likely the best shot I've seen of McNaught so far anywhere. Kinda surprised this didn't go 8+ really.

Nicely done!

You could probably submit this to the Nasa archives as well. I wouldn't be surprised if it's more than up to snuff for their quality requirements.

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 08:53:27.
01/31/2007 08:52:08 AM
Wonderful photo of the comet. I really enjoy seeing these kind of photos, they are my favorite. Congrats on being #1!
01/31/2007 08:12:41 AM
Wow... I saw this picture on Digg as well. Great capture!
01/31/2007 07:32:51 AM
01/31/2007 06:36:09 AM
Great shot, probably the best I've seen of it. I did shoot McNaught here in Iceland in the beginning of January. Seems like the tail is more round and bigger there down-under.
01/31/2007 06:21:38 AM
that's amazing. congratulations
01/31/2007 06:17:47 AM
01/31/2007 05:37:35 AM
Superb!! I only aspire to catch a scene as beautiful as this! I cant believe you took it in SA! Vunderbah!
01/31/2007 05:27:01 AM
Congrats! As I am sure you are aware, this pic (on Flickr) was dug earlier this week on //www.digg.com . Very cool!
01/31/2007 05:22:22 AM
This is really impressive. Congratulations on this one-in-a-million picture.
01/31/2007 05:00:39 AM
Congrats John, this shot is definitely better than what I have seen in print. Thought you might like this from the site favorites page. A well deserved blue.
01/31/2007 04:37:16 AM
It's so sad that I will never see something that was so brilliant. Your picture leaves me at a loss for words. Perfect in every way.
01/31/2007 04:16:26 AM
Well not at all surprised this won the challenge, best McNaught photo I have seen ANYWHERE. Congrat´s! Would have voted it a big fat 10.
01/31/2007 03:52:34 AM
Congrats on this shot and the ribbon. Craps all over my comet shots! ;)
01/31/2007 03:10:09 AM
PHEW! awesome ... this makes photography an science :-)

fantastic, congratulations ...
01/31/2007 02:45:47 AM
Such a privilege to see, thank you for sharing this one in a lifetime shot with us. Congratulations!
01/31/2007 02:16:08 AM
Must have been quite a sight if you could capture it that large looking at 24mm focal length. Fantastic!
01/31/2007 02:16:02 AM
WoW! This is an amazing shot! Congratulations on the Blue!!
01/31/2007 01:18:59 AM
gorgeous! congrats on the blue!
01/31/2007 01:17:47 AM
Perhaps the best photograph I have seen anywhere of the comet.
I'm impressed. Congrats - stunning shot!
01/31/2007 01:07:21 AM
Wow--very cool! Congrat's on the blue!
01/31/2007 12:57:53 AM
No surprise to see this win: fantastic shot!
01/31/2007 12:52:08 AM
This is simply AMAZING!! I envy your for seeing this but I appreciate you seeing this for us. Congrats on the moment and the recognition of a special photo.
01/31/2007 12:44:53 AM
Great shot John. Why did you have to use the 24-105? ;)
01/31/2007 12:43:29 AM
Congrats on your blue!
01/31/2007 12:30:03 AM
Congrats on your BLUE!!!! Well earned!
01/31/2007 12:26:17 AM
C.O.N.G.R.A.T.U.L.A.T.I.O.N.S..... on the "BLUE" RIBBON.....

Wonderful image here.....
01/31/2007 12:25:48 AM
Absolutely gorgeous! I didn't vote in the challenge so I'm only seeing it now for the first time. Wow! Instant favorite for me!
01/31/2007 12:18:14 AM
01/31/2007 12:15:13 AM
Originally posted by hotpasta:

...better than the ones I saw in the newspapers!

my thoughts exactly. I saw some pics in the paper the other day and I thought man that one on DPC shits on these.

01/31/2007 12:13:15 AM
Awesome!! Congrats on the blue! Looking forward to the next time you shoot McNaught!
01/31/2007 12:11:31 AM
COngrats and im glad im one of those 43 10's. You know i tried to have you DQ'd but i relaized the date might be out of my visible range but the southern hemisphere still can see it. SO i closed the DQ window lol!
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/30/2007 10:28:51 PM
Beautiful shot. Love it. What a capture. Sky is incredible. Very well done. Thank you for bringing this to us.
01/30/2007 06:08:25 PM
another great capture - look at the stars and the framing!
01/30/2007 05:34:44 PM
Hard to really fit this in the theme but it is a gorgeous photo. 8
01/29/2007 11:43:01 PM
Wow, this is just amazing. Sometime after the voting is done, you should share how you set up this shot. The light on the left tree is eerily appealing.
01/29/2007 10:23:44 PM
WOW Lucky capture we had clouds for days
01/29/2007 03:22:21 PM
Beautiful shot!
01/29/2007 12:56:23 PM
Just gorgeous and awesome!
01/28/2007 06:45:00 AM
Well done! I would like to know more about the photo location and the technique. Very nice.
01/28/2007 01:53:52 AM
01/27/2007 05:50:06 PM
Very nice shot. Nice colors and I like how the trees frame the comet. Nicely done. Back to bump you up to 8.
01/27/2007 01:19:11 PM
WOW! Stunning capture and composition. 10.
01/27/2007 11:53:33 AM
OK, this is a great image, but it been shoe-horned into this challenge. It will probably do quite well, but undeservedly so..
01/27/2007 02:24:32 AM
Simply the most striking image I have seen, good luck
01/26/2007 01:52:59 PM
That is an amazing shot. I think we have our winner!
01/26/2007 11:53:06 AM
This image is very well balanced and gives a sense of tranquility. I really like the trees in the foreground and the reflection of the night sky in the water.
01/26/2007 11:27:42 AM
I love this picture, the tree in the left with the stars shinny through is awsome nice image good luck with the challenge.
01/26/2007 11:18:30 AM
I like the variation of form you used in this photo
01/26/2007 11:15:46 AM
I like how it shows the trees and the fore ground in a silhouette and that you can see the different shades in the sky and the comet gathers the attention.
01/25/2007 10:06:17 PM
i love this, it's gorgeous
01/25/2007 06:36:33 PM
visually very appealing - 8 -

01/25/2007 01:49:17 PM
Wow, great capture, 10
01/25/2007 11:24:04 AM
01/25/2007 11:20:13 AM
amazing shot! 9
01/25/2007 11:16:32 AM
great image. 10
01/25/2007 07:11:32 AM
You know you're gonna win right? Surreal...10...and lucky you to live in a place where this is visible. 2 million porch lights kill my night skies!
01/24/2007 11:29:48 PM
This is beautiful!
01/24/2007 10:22:48 PM
D U D E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where on EARTH did you get this shot?

I hate living in the city !!!!!!!!!!! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH !

10 from me.
01/24/2007 05:41:23 PM
01/24/2007 04:41:46 PM
Oh my, this is a great shot! A solid 8 for you!
01/24/2007 04:40:08 PM
Absolutely beautiful!
01/24/2007 02:59:04 PM
01/24/2007 08:26:15 AM
Great shot and great framing
01/24/2007 05:52:43 AM
Brilliant. Absolutely fantastic.
01/24/2007 04:52:12 AM
Fantastic shot: the white thing on the water's edge is distracting...can't make out what it is. and it pulls away from the brightness of the comet.
01/24/2007 04:34:02 AM
perfect...better than the ones I saw in the newspapers! should be a contender...9
01/24/2007 02:22:53 AM
My choice for the Blue! Congrats on your upcoming ribbon. 10
01/24/2007 01:07:19 AM
Right place, right time, right equipment, right composition, right clear sky, right pleasing, right with the dead tree on one side and live on the other (life to death implied), right knowlege about exposure, right contrast of the tail with the stars, right reflection in the still water.
10, right?
My first 10 is for this image. Part your technique, and part your luck.
01/24/2007 12:27:10 AM

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