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Vanderhoff Images of Comet Hale-Bopp




Observer: Dewey Vanderhoff
Location: Wapiti Valley, Wyoming
Date: March 23, 1997 UT

Here are three more down-to-Earth photos of the comet, all done last night ( Saturday March 22 ) in the Wapiti Valley west of Cody Wyoming near Yellowstone Park.

The technique is to use a blessing of abundant moonlight to illuminate a rich landscape, with short enouigh exposures to prevent star trail motion. You can only do this within 2-3 days either side of a full moon each month

This works out to exposures of 40-60 seconds at f/2.8 using 400 speed films. I use Nikkor lenses, 24-35-55mm focal lengths ; Nikon camera on tripod. Composition is based on a preexisting knowledge of the landscape , and a lot of Pure Dumb Luck. But after twenty years I finally have a feel for this sort of stuff. Forty seconds when the moon is high, sixty seconds when it's lower ; and bracket your shots like a half-blind goose hunter.

These are in the tradition of the great landscapes of the American West painted in the 1800's, more impressionist pigmenting than photographic imaging. I hope you find they provide a great complement to the multitudes of "Boone and Crockett" trophy comet head imagery.

Dewey Vanderhoff

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