Scott Rinckenberger was on the final day of his 5-week journey in western America to do nothing but create beautiful photography. Every morning, he was rising with sun, capturing a variety of landscapes all the way down to the Mexican border. He had literally thousands of beautiful images, but on his final day, one feeling remained: he didn’t have that shot. That epic shot that would make the entire 5 weeks completely worth it.

Until he shot this final photograph.

Scott Rinckenberger Meteor marked

This is the shot that made it all worth it. On his blog, he wrote:

I’ve been shooting photos for 20 years. I’ve made my living in the profession for the last 15. I can count on one hand the number of times that everything lined up perfectly and a truly rare image was created. Now, I don’t want to toot my own horn about this shot, but the fact that, during a 30 second exposure, after a 10 second timer (during which I hopped down from the roof of my truck where the camera was on a tripod, and joined the scene by the fire), a meteor (or so they tell us) would enter the sky EXACTLY in the corner of the frame and explode in the very part of the frame that needed balance, just as I had finally worked out the correct exposure and lighting to match the foreground with the night sky, is beyond rare. It’s a non-chance. There is no way to plan for something like this. No way to even hope for it.

My pal Hayden was the other guy at the campfire. His favorite part of the story? My response after I had climbed back up on the roof of the truck to review the image that I was hoping beyond hope I had captured. In my head: Exposure? Check. Focus? Check. EXPLODING METEOR? CHECK! And verbally (very quietly): “I’m done.” And those of you who know how the mind of an artist works, being done is a rare and beautiful thing.

Scott’s photo grips any viewer from the moment they lay eyes on it, but the story behind it is what makes it truly special. Congratulations to Scott on this fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

You can check out his blog at and his Facebook page here: Scott Rinckenberger Photography

For good measure, let’s see that one more time.

Scott Rinckenberger Meteor marked

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