The technology has reached its peak in the last fifty years, flat TV screens, smart phones, tablets, robots, etc. However, even though technology can amaze us with all mankind accomplishments, we cannot still or ever out did the wonders of Nature.
Nature is so unpredictable, and when we think we have seen it all it drops something that bewilders us leaving us in great wonder. The universe is unthinkably huge and still an enigma for the human race, and when meteors fall on the surface of Earth every person wants to check the sight and even better if it is documented like with video or photographs that are instantly viral.
Not every person or for that a matter a photographer has the chance in his lifetime to capture such moment, but for Prasenjeet Yadav several years ago, this became a reality. Towards our planet constantly fly over 25 million meteors, which are too hard or too small to become visible during the day. Yet, back in October 2015, Yadav had the privileged of taking a photo of an emerald meteor that lit up the Indian sky. Such occasion is very rare and impossible to photographically capture it as meteors burn very quickly. This meteor was also very fast and burned very brightly which made this occasion one of a kind.
Prasenjeet Yadav won a National Geographic Young Explorers grant, and like any young artist he was eager to take as many shots as he could. So, he drove into the mountains and set up his camera to take a timelapse of the sky above Mettupalayam, India. The shooting emerald was not planned, but it happened to Yadav who was sleeping while the event happened, and when he checked his camera he was as surprised as we were when first seeing the photo. He even questioned the validity of the photography, but it was real and at the same time mind-blowing. By accident he captured the magnificent emerald shooting star with incredible greenish color that according to Yadav was a result of “a combination of the heating of oxygen around the meteor and the mix of minerals ignited as the rock enters Earth’s atmosphere.”
Thanks to this image he made it, he entered into the running for 2016 National Geographic’s nature photographer of the year competition.
He explained how this magnificent shot occurred:
“Anand Varma was visiting me and I was showing him around a mountain range in South India called the Western Ghats. We camped on the side of a road and I set up my Nikon D600 and a 24-70mm lens to take 15-second exposures. I set the camera to take 999 images.
I slept next to the camera and it continued taking pictures until dawn. It wasn’t until the next afternoon that I reviewed my images and noticed something unusually bright and green. I showed it to Anand, and we realized that I had captured an extremely rare event.”
“After checking with a few experts, I learned that it was a green meteorite, and getting it on camera is very rare. This is an example of being at the right place at the right time to capture something totally unexpected.
For those 15 seconds, I was the luckiest photographer on the planet.”
What is interesting about this photographer is the fact that photography was not his first calling. He was a molecular ecologist with master’s degree in molecular biology. But, his passion towards storytelling led him to becoming a photographer and National Geographic explorer. In his second calling he is focused towards ecological and conservation sciences.