Standing there in the darkness – jumping up and down like a little kid at Christmas – and shouting -Yes! and Aaaah!, I probably look quite silly for a grown man, but every occasion like yesterday is exactly like Christmas to me! The Aurora borealis – Northern Light is so awe-inspiring that I wish all the japanese, Korean and Chinese tourist here in Norway could see it! They really are memories for a lifetime. Last night Kp-index was 3 (2 and above means chances to see northern lights at these latitudes). Today the Kp is even higher, at 5 – so I am soooo hoping for equally crisp, clear skies and even bigger lights!
I managed to get great many shots yesterday. And I had company. Danielle came down to the water with her boyfriend and I helped her getting into the fine techniques of shooting Northern Lights photographs.
And another bonus last night was the swarms of beautiful meteorites. I belive it must have been the orionides that should be passing just these days. Although my camera was pointed in the wrong directions, when I got home, I found that actually three of my photos had captured these beautiful sights. My head was obviously pointing in the wrong direction at these points, as I didn’t see them until I started flipping through the shots.
Well, here is a tiny fraction of last night’s phenomenal photo shoot. Enjoy!
The conditions are good! Clear skies and moderate particle stream from the sun, so my camera is set, my wool clothes are all ready. Tripod? Check! Extra battery? Check! Flash light? Check! All systems nominal. Go, no-go for northern lights! WE HAVE A GO FOR AURORA BOREALIS!
In the news today we saw that 45. million readers have seen the Facebook page for Visit Northern Norway – and yet again my friend Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen lundeimages. com made the frontpage with one of his stunning photos, the very photo I got his permission to show here to the right! It is an absolute beauty of a northern lights shot! The photo is taken in Bø in Vesterålen (Boe in Vesteraalen) – the beautiful group of islands between Lofoten and the main land.
I was hoping for clear, crisp weather and maybe a combined northern lights shots and a meteor from the Draconids – wich is the hot topic in tonight’s sky. I saw three really nice shooting stars, but ales, didn’t capture them. I would probably have caught some more, if it wasn’t for the clouds. I caught a few nice though! It was really the AHHHH!-moment of my Northern Lights watching career – but it was nice anyway.
At one point I managed to do a long exposure of Widerøe’s Flight WF855 (Dash 8-100) from Narvik taking off from Narvik Airport at 1010 pm (GMT+1). Funny how the landing lights and strobes made a nice pattern across the beautiful moonlit scene.
One of the great joys of photography, is to flip through old shots and rediscovering details you didn’t see the first time. This shot was taken on the January 23. 2012. Tonight there is a clear and rather crisp sky (although I had been hoping for a little less humidity in the atmosphere) – so – who knows – maybe it is going to be one of those spectacular nights again..?
Incidentally exactly one year ago I was also shooting Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights photos. I recall the conditions were somewhat better than today, but still, I am not complaining. I shot a few, but this was – if not the best – the most interesting because of the perspective. The aurora is partly obscured by a cloud.
Aurora borealis is formed some 80 – 3-400 km above Earth Surface by charged particles from the sun that excites atoms in the ionosphere. When the electrons in the excited atoms falls back again to lower states of energy, they release the energy, from the collision with the particle from the sun, in the form of a photon which is the light waves/particles that we observe as light on our retina.
I reported on clear skies and a hope for northern light yesterday. And my dreams came through! Here is the first of the photos. It was a “flash” at the beginning of the show, and the reason why I picked this, is simply because of the really cool reflections in the fjord. This was taken at 20 seconds exposure, which makes it kind of blurry, but still it came out nice with a little adjustments for white balance.
The night is getting lighter and soon the Midnight Sun will be shining – thus making it impossible to see the spectacular phenomenon – Northern Lights (Aurora borealis). But still the night is dark enough to se the occasional Northern Lights. Although I am too busy at the moment to spend hours out in the cold gazing for this beautiful light show – yesterday I just had to.
I only shoot photos in RAW-mode. Hence it takes a lot of hard, manual labor to “develop” them into JPEGs suitable for showing here. And there it is again time… Well, I’ve processed one with the planet Venus shining brightly through the vail of the Northern Lights above the Ofoten Fjord.
Today my blog has reached a new time high! My last entry about with the Northern Lights photos has shot through the roof! Right now we are experiencing the biggest Sun Storm since 2005. This is really bad news for communication and navigation satelites. It is not very healthy being an airline passenger or crew neither. But for watching spectacular lights in the night sky, it is great. Right now there’s a lull in the activity, but as the Earth rotates a little bit more, we in Northern-Norway will be right on the backstream of the charched particles from the Sun.
I have already shot a few photos tonight and are waiting for more. Unfortunately there is a lot of clouds right now. And since it’s rather cold, people are throwing birch into the fireplaces – like ther was no tomorrow – which produces a lot of smoke particles which scatter the light even more.
I hope you enjoy these preliminary shots of tonights show!
Yesterday was a fantastic night! All one could hope and dream for! Often times the Earth’s magnetic field pushes so hard back against the Sun’s magnestic field, that the particle from solar bursts never enter the ionosphere to create this spectacle. But yesterday was – luckily – a day when the magnetic field lines let slip particles deep down into the ionosphere to create these breathtaking views. With the good help of my friend Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen, I managed to process the final details of my RAW photos to stand out like they are seen.
Have you ever gotten a present that just keeps on giving? This night was such a present! Northern Lights covering the entire night sky. Severeal times I just had to stop – I simply didn’t know which part of the sky I should shoot… Now that is a serious luxury problem! I have several hundred pictures ready for processing.
Here are just a few! More to come!
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