Now there’s no doubt that it’s a spectacular image by anyone’s standards (click here for a larger look). A single frame encapsulating fireworks, impressive bolts of lightning from a menacing storm and, of course a special guest appearance by Comet McNaught (look closely in the sky around the middle of the shot).
I have no proof in what I am about to say, but I think even the most untrained photographic eye can pick it as a really nicely Photoshopped fake.
What gives it away?
Well I could probably go on forever with a bunch of technical babble but here’s a couple of things to chew on:
- The clear presence of Comet McNaught in the shot. Even with a more powerful telephoto lens it would be almost impossible to capture the comet with that sort of clarity with the same sort of exposure settings that have allowed for the fireworks and lightning strikes to feature.
- The biggest giveaway is the distinct lack of water based reflection of the left and brightest lightning bolt. How can the fireworks give off such an intense reflection (proximity aside) when virtually nothing shines for the lightning strike that has equally glaring highlights in the shot. Even the lesser of the two lightning bolts to the right gives off a more powerful reflection.
Don’t get me wrong, be it a unbelievable multi frame composition or a neat Photoshop job, the image is an absolute cracker and does a nice job in showcasing Perth as the beautiful Aussie gem that it is!