Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Posted by Yonatan (New York, United States) on 8 March 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

As you probably could have told from my previous post, I did not think I was going to have an opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis on my trip. Every night that I stayed in Bjorkliden, I spent several hours outside with my camera looking and waiting for the Aurora to show itself. Well, on the night of 3/3/10 I was treated to a spectacular display for several hours. It was amazing!

I went on a short caving trip and of course brought my camera and tripod. The cave system was too narrow and cramped to bring the camera, so photography had to wait until after the cave tour. We entered the cave before the sky was dark and when we emerged we immediately saw the green glow of the Aurora Borealis. The location where we were was optimal for seeing the Aurora as we were higher than the hotel and away from its lights. Our group was small and the guides were wonderful and let us hang out for a bit and enjoy the show.

One advantage of my several days of Auroraless evening photography was that I started learn what makes a sky shot interesting. Foreground is very important. While the Aurora is cool to look at, a picture of just the Aurora and nothing else would not be very satisfying. While setting up for a shot, I noticed our snowmobile and decided to include it in the composition. I politely asked the other people to clear a line of sight for me. Since the moon had not yet risen, there was very little light to illuminate the snowmobile. I decided to improvise and I asked one of our guides to shine to his headlamp at the snowmobile for several seconds. A 91 second exposure, plus another 91 seconds of noise reduction, and everybody gasped when they saw the result.

After this shot, we returned to the hotel. I shot the Aurora for another 30 minutes and then went inside for dinner. After dinner I went back out for another hour or so.

I have more Aurora shots and will post them soon, but I want to be sure to share my pictures from other aspects of my trip as well. If you can't wait and want to see all of my worthy Aurora captures you can visit this direct link to my website. Please note that I will not able to have a link on my website to these pictures until I get back to the USA where I have the proper web developing software, so the link in this text is the only way to get to the pictures.

If you enjoy my work you may visit my permanent website where you can view my photos.

Thank you for taking some time to take a look at my photographs. I hope you enjoy your stop at my blog.

I invite you all to visit frequently and leave comments and feedback. I would really appreciate constructive criticism that will help me improve. You don't need to be a photographer to help me, tell me what you like and don't like. If you have any suggestions of interesting things to shoot or fun techniques to try I'd also love to know.

Best wishes,


Olympus E-510
91 second
ISO 400
14 mm

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