andyeklund
5 Comments | Report
 
photosue50 September 11, 2015
Beautiful
 
loonwatcher55 September 11, 2015
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
 
loonwatcher55 September 11, 2015
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
 
loonwatcher55 September 11, 2015
What a great Photo.
 
KatieMcKinneyPhotography September 25, 2015
Amazing capture! Voted

Star Trail and Northern Lights



So this is my first attempt at a star trail on my new frame. I was messing around with light painting the foreground. I found out I needed to use a little les...
Read more
So this is my first attempt at a star trail on my new frame. I was messing around with light painting the foreground. I found out I needed to use a little less of a harsh light. Decided to just keep it going. The northern lights rolled in like crazy and I just kept hoping they would sweep into my frame. Then they did, and got to be the most intense that they were all night. So I Think this turned out pretty well, still needs some improvement, but I'm happy.
Read less

Views

1244

Likes

Awards

People's Choice in Star Trails Photo Challenge
Absolute Masterpiece
+18
Outstanding Creativity
+9
Superb Composition
+6
Top Choice
+5
Magnificent Capture
Superior Skill
Peer Award
All Star

Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 20 class week 1
Top 20 class
Top 20 class week 3
Top 20 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 30 class week 1
Top 20 class
Top 10 class
Top 20 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 30 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 20 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 20 class week 1
Top 20 class week 1
Top 20 class
Top 30 class
Top 30 class
Top 30 class
Top 20 class week 1
Top 20 class
Top 20 class
Top 10 class
Top 20 class week 1

Categories


Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo on top of Birch Hill, just outside of Fairbanks Alaska. It was my first night playing around with my new Olympus OMD EM5 Mkii.
Time
Besides being at night, this photo took about two and a half hours for the complete exposure. I'm a night owl, so this was between 1-3 am.
Lighting
All of the pretty lights came from mother nature and solar storms! I was just planning on shooting a star trail image, and didn't look at the solar forecast at all. Apparently it was one of the better solar storms that we have had in 2015, so the northern lights came out and walked into my frame which was fine by me. I used a surefire flashlight and a lens cloth to paint the trees and the road. Fall is a short time up here, so I wanted to get some of the orange leaves on the road to contrast the night sky.
Equipment
I have a SLIK tripod with a manfrotto ballhead. I had my legs as short as possible to get the perspective from the road. Tech: Camera - Olympus OMD EM5 Mkii Lens - Olympus m.Zuiko 12mm f2.0 ISO 640 And Olympus's wonderful Live Composite feature.
Inspiration
I had just bought the OMD because of the live composite feature to do easy star trails with minimal post processing. If you don't know what the live composite is; it will take a base photo and then the sensor only records changes in light. So these star trails and aurora are all part of one RAW file. I've loved space since I was young, and have recently gotten into photography in the last couple of years. So I naturally flock to the night sky for photos.
Editing
The only processing that I did was in Lightroom CC14 with minor tweaks to exposure, highlights, and added a little vibrance and saturation. The exposure was pretty much what I wanted coming out of the camera because you can watch what you are doing in the view finder of the OMD.
In my camera bag
My overall camera bag keeps growing, however I usually work out of my 40L kelty backpack. I spend most of my time hiking around the mountains so I try to limit the gear that I take each time. That being said, when I have my camera bag ready to go to shoot off from the road system I keep 2 camera setups: Olympus frame: 12-40mm f2.8 all around lens 12mm f2.0 for night 8mm f1.8 fisheye and an intermediate ND filter so I can get some nifty water pics during the day Sony a7sii: zeiss 55mm f2.0 Nikon nikkor 20mm f1.8 with metabones adaptor Spare batteries and most importantly my Petzl headlamp with red light for night shooting and exploring.
Feedback
If you want to see the northern lights and capture them with your camera, head north! I'm lucky enough to have been stationed in Alaska while I was in the military, and never left. You need to get to an area with dark skies, so get away from the cities. With the aurora you want to shoot at a high ISO and as slow as a shutter speed as you can to achieve the nice "banding" and color gradients. The longer the exposure taken, will cause the image to start looking like cotton candy in the sky, if that makes sense. It can achieve some interesting results and is fun to play with different camera settings when shooting the aurora. With the OMD live composite, you can just set the camera and let the earths rotation do all the work for you without stacking images in Photoshop. Most importantly get out and explore!

See more amazing photos, Follow andyeklund