Two laps of de-icing. #alaskatravel #snowinghardhere #canwegoyet
Last night, after crawling into bed with Heather to watch a sitcom, my phone buzzed. It’s not often that folks call me in the late hours, so after the show was over, I hopped out of bed to find a message from my friend Shea excitedly telling me about the Aurora. He hasn’t let me down with reports of northern lights in the past, but just to be sure, I headed to Facebook to see what the crowdsourced space-weather report looked like: tons of people were chatting up the lights.
Not wanting to miss out on epic action, we bundled up and walked to the end of the street, seeing the sky aglow with the wisps of light. While the lights were certainly present, they were a bit bland to the naked eye – the truly amazing show had been earlier when the message was left. Not wanting to miss out on a return event, we went back home, tucked Heather into bed, and I headed out to make some photos.
Shea and others had been texting through the night encouraging and tipping each other off to aurora awesomeness in the case that we were not keeping eyes peeled to the sky… (Sometimes driving to a new location means that you miss the most amazing display ever.) It was nice to know that someone else was out in the cold and enjoying the sights. In a strange way, it’s kind of like that song in Fievel Goes West. Anyhow, back to last night.
After standing in the Mendenhall River for around an hour and thirty minutes, I was able to capture a variety of shots, and eventually headed back to the road where Shea had showed up. We stood and talked for the next hour or so making a few frames, and also gathering images for a time lapse video. Eventually I made it home, offloaded images, and was able to slip under the covers at just shy of 4am. Today has been a day of caffeine!
Take a look at what I came back with – shown in chronological order:
And lastly, the time lapse video. This was at ~2am for an hour. 400 frames, each at ~8sec/ea. Playing at 15fps.
Take a look at the larger versions by clicking on an image or heading to my 2012 Fine Art gallery.
I thought I’d throw up another one from my outing last weekend – I would venture to say that I like this one better for the additional ‘interesting’ things in the frame, though it’s not strictly a photo of the aurora.
What do you think? Do you have a preference?
Thought I’d take a moment to post a couple images from the hike last weekend. Macro is fun. I realized after the fact that my sensor or lens was ridiculously dusted because when I cranked down my aperture to f45, every little bit comes into focus against the soft background bokeh. I was pleasantly surprised to find the starburst come through the raindrop. Next time I’ll try planning for it!
See these and more in the 2011 Fine Art gallery.
Last night was another late night. I went to bed at a normal hour, however, I’ve been battling a sore throat for a few days and it finally was bold enough to wake me up just a couple hours into my slumber. So I got up. And I stayed up. And I looked at the Aurora forecast and realized that if my super-science friend, Matt, was correct, there might be a chance. I grabbed my tripod (still with camera strapped to it) and headed out.
Naturally, with my Northern Light Luck™, there was high cloud cover, and the stars were nowhere to be seen. Go figure.
Fortunately, the evening was uncharacteristically warm (my car claimed 63˚), so I opted to head out anyways. I found myself at the Auke Bay harbor and looking for some cool images. As it was completely comfortable to hang out in the warm night, I decided to try to take some shots with my intervalometer. Below you’ll see one of my first time lapse videos of the moving clouds. It’s kind of fun, but I’ll need to work on it more before I consider it awesome. 🙂
See these and more in my 2011 Fine Art Gallery.