"It's a gift from nature": a photographer succeeds in bringing together lightning, Mars and the lunar eclipse on one shot
Maxime Verrier was tracking down a thunderstorm Friday when he captured this impressive photo of the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
Some have not seen it at all because of the clouds. But Maxence Verrier has managed to photograph the longest total lunar eclipse, Friday, July 27. And bad weather did not serve his cliché. We can see lightning alongside Red Moon and Mars, which was particularly visible that night. For Maxence, who shares the story of his huntings as a web series, it's "the picture of a life". Franceinfo asked this storm tracker about this remarkable image, taken in Haute-Loire.
Franceinfo: Under what conditions did you make this shot? Did you hope to photograph the eclipse?
Maxence Verrier: I did not even imagine taking this picture! We expected to be able to photograph the eclipse, but from 18 hours a thick cloud cover settled in Rhône-Alpes. Me, I am a thunder tracker, in my free time. And as they announced a stormy situation in the evening, I took all my equipment and I left in a hunt that lasted a few 200 kilometers and hours. I finally arrived at Sainte-Sigolène and came across a thunderstorm that had originated on the side of Puy-en-Velay and slid quickly to Valencia. Passing over the Pilat massif, he freed himself from his electric activity, causing many lightning strikes, powerful enough
I had an incredible chance because the sky was clear to discover the orange moon and Mars at his side. When I saw this picture coming out of the back of the camera case, I was stunned. It's the picture of a life. I am quite dazzled by this beautiful gift of nature.
What does the storm add to this picture of the eclipse?
I think of the eclipse photos, we've all seen thousands. But the power of the storm and the energy it unleashes next to this beautiful spectacle of the stars brings us back to our state in relation to the universe and the world. We are really nothing, we are really slab. It made me feel infinitely small. Many things can be done as human beings, but it is nothing compared to the spectacle of nature. That's indescribable.
How is a thunderstorm prepared?
The first tool is the weather. This allows us to anticipate storm prospects and to hunt down. A target is set, even if the meteto remains an inexact science. Then, it is important to have geographical knowledge of the areas we survey, it allows us to know which place will give us a good point of view. And then there is the photographic equipment: I leave with three tripods and three cameras. It is tropicalized material [protected from moisture by specific materials] because our devices are usually soaked after a shot.
We can leave at ten o'clock in the morning and return at two o'clock in the morning the next day, depending on where we are tracking. To tell the truth, 200 kilometers for a tracking, it is not much thing, it is even very little!