1 Comment | Report
joycealicesmith March 12, 2016
Outstanding capture! Congratulations on winning the Challenge!

Hay Bales

Looking out my window one midnight, I saw a faint green in the sky and knew that Aurora was on. I rushed to the closest field I could drive to. This is some ...
Read more
Looking out my window one midnight, I saw a faint green in the sky and knew that Aurora was on. I rushed to the closest field I could drive to. This is some farmer's field just in the outskirts of the city. In my rush I brought my defective lens! By the time I realized what I had done, the Aurora was weakening leaving me no choice but try to focus as best I could. This is the best among the number of shots I took.
Read less





Winner in Landscapes without Mountains or Water Photo Challenge
Superb Composition
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
Magnificent Capture
Top Choice
All Star

Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1


Behind The Lens

This image was taken in the outskirts of Calgary (Alberta, Canada). When I knew the northern lights were on, I jumped in my car and drove west to get to the first field I came across. I had spotted one and decided to shoot from there but I needed to drive further to find a spot to make a U-turn. As I turned around my car lights shone on the hay bales I did not know were in another open field. I decided to shoot the northern lights with the hay in the foreground instead.
I got an alert about the northern lights earlier in the day and wanted to go out to take pictures. But I also had to pack up for my trip which would commence the following day so I decided to set aside any plans to shoot that night. However, while I was packing up I saw a flash of green through my window and couldn't resist going out. So I left in a hurry, grabbing my camera and tripod and in my rush to catch the show I did not realize that I brought my defective lens. I tried my best to focus and this is the best of the ones I took.
I wanted the hay bales to be in the foreground so I used my vehicle's headlights for lighting.
A f/2.8L 24mm-70mm lens on a Canon 6D mounted on a tripod was used to shoot this image. For lighting, I used my vehicle's headlights.
There had been an abundance of northern lights show in 2015 in Alberta and this particular one was in March. This was my second time to see, let alone shoot,the northern lights so I was really keen on going out at night when there was a great chance of seeing them. As I also had to prepare for a trip which would commence the following day, I was resigned to not shooting that night but once I saw that flash of green through my window, my resolve to focus on packing dissolved!
I used photoshop to increase the exposure and vibrancy and in this particular image, enhanced sharpness.
In my camera bag
I usually carry my wide angle lens, ND grad filters, shutter release, spare battery.
Use a white balance that would enhance the color green (around 3500 K), not too long a shutter speed (20 sec, which I used in this image, is too long!) so you could still see the ribbons/towers of green. Around 4-6 seconds is great which also means a high ISO.

See more amazing photos, Follow HopeCharmaine