Hoopers interlopers – Paul Le Comte


The final of my 4 images depicting the International Space Station crossing the skies above New Zealand illustrates how sometimes objects in the sky cross over your field of view, & depending on what you were shooting & how you feel about these objects in the sky, you either see them as fun additions or light pollution.

Here I was set up in Hoopers Inlet on Otago Peninsula (before the storm took out the famous boat shed), hoping to capture a relatively long sunset to aurora Timelapse. To do this you choose your location, settings on the camera, lock everything down on a steady tripod & let the camera with it’s intervalometer (internal, or external intervalometer release cable) take images every x number of seconds.

Just after sunset, during blue hour, just as the southern sky started to glow a pale blue of the incoming aurora, in a single 30 second frame, both the International Space Station, & an Iridium Flare happened in the top right hand of the image (would later appear as a quick flash in the Timelapse, barely noticeable), I took a quick note of the time & hoped the camera caught these two things. Sure enough the ISS crossed the sky from the middle right to the top of the image, appearing as a strong white line, & the Iridium Flare (light reflecting off the Iridium Satellite as it tumbles in orbit).

A little bit of luck & not the image I was looking for, some would say light pollution, but in this case I think it tells a nice little story of science photo bombing my Timelapse.

Shooting the ISS can be fun, it doesn’t need to be technical, and it’s a wonderful reminder of the incredible achievements of humanity & science.


Camera Settings

Nikon D7100
ISO 400
f/5.6
30 seconds

Sale Details

$50 (inc GST)