In the realm of landscape photography, there are moments when nature graciously smiles at your camera, offering unexpected surprises beyond your initial aspirations. This particular photograph exemplifies such an occurrence. While diligently capturing the eruption of a volcano, the photographer was treated to the extraordinary sight of a shooting star streaking across the sky, brilliantly stealing the spotlight within the frame.
In September 2016, Daniel Kordan, a photographer and ambassador for Nikon, was guiding a photography workshop at Klyuchevskaya Sopka, located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the northeastern region of Russia.
Klyuchevskaya Sopka, with its elevation reaching 15,580 feet (4,750 meters), stands as the tallest mountain on the Kamchatka Peninsula and holds the distinction of being the highest active volcano in Eurasia. Regarded as a sacred mountain by certain indigenous communities in Russia, it carries deep cultural significance as they perceive it to be the place where the world originated.
Klyuchevskaya Sopka experienced its first recorded eruption as far back as 1697, and it has maintained a regular pattern of volcanic activity ever since. Consequently, it serves as an excellent destination for photographers aiming to capture the spectacle of a volcano eruption while minimizing personal risk.
During his photography workshop, while capturing the minor eruption of the volcano alongside his students, Kordan had a stroke of luck and successfully captured a meteor in his frame as well.
“We were stationed with my group at a camp near a small pond,” Kordan shared with PetaPixel. “We managed to capture the reflections of the volcanoes, and as a pleasant surprise, I accidentally captured a shooting star during a lengthy 25-second exposure.”
The resulting composition turned out to be perfect, showcasing a captivating scene where the luminous trails of both the flowing lava and the shooting star were beautifully reflected in the calm waters of the foreground pond.
While there are occasions when photographers intentionally venture out to capture images of shooting stars, such as during the annual Perseids meteor shower, there are also moments when shooting stars unexpectedly photobomb long-exposure photos, resulting in delightful serendipities like Kordan’s stunning shot. These occurrences bring about happy little accidents that add a touch of magic to the art of photography.
Kordan has established himself as one of the most popular outdoor photographers on social media, amassing a significant following of over 1.6 million followers on Instagram. His remarkable portfolio can be explored further on his website, Facebook page, and 500px profile. Additionally, interested individuals can acquire prints of Kordan’s captivating photos through the provided link.