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ianrobins
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artiste9999 March 16, 2017
I like the alignment of the northern lights with the rock outcropping. I have a sunset that I lined up that way. Cheers
 
4080_8902 June 20, 2017
Beautiful
 
AaronJHeller July 26, 2018
Beautiful.

Volcano



I just could not resist this as I was out hunting the lights with my guests. The scene was just perfect so I had to try and capture it....
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I just could not resist this as I was out hunting the lights with my guests. The scene was just perfect so I had to try and capture it.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Our World At Night Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Islands Photo Contest
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People's Choice in Contemplating The Aurora Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Contemplating The Aurora Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Long Exposure Views Photo Contest
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Behind The Lens

Location
This is a view to the island spjøten from Sandviksanden. It was a slow aurora day as in the promised storm did not arrive until I was ready to give up. On my way home as I drove down the mountain I noticed that it was starting so I just had to go down to the beach and wait until it really started once again. It is a big advantage living here in the vesterålen islands North Norway.
Time
29-10-15 23:11hrs The best time of night is the darkest for the aurora but it is not always active at that time of the day. It was in this case though. Last autumn was a really spectacular time. The best aurora I have seen in 9 years of living in North Norway.
Lighting
The aurora is not really light. It is gas in our upper atmosphere being hit by charged particles from the sun which in turn starts luminescence. This night was well light from the moon too. The moon is something people say you should not have when trying to view the aurora but I think it helps photographers a lot in that it lights the landscape up. In this case the beach and the far mountains were light up well.
Equipment
I use a Nikon d810 with the electronic front curtain activated. My tripod is novoflex legs and manfrotto head. The samyang 14mm f2.8 is a very popular lens among aurora photographers. I have since replaced it with the sigma 20mm f1.4 for the ineradicable amount of light it lets in.
Inspiration
I am still amazed at what nature can produce. This is one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world. Finding good spots to create good images is not difficult around here but but on this occasion it just all came together. The aurora in just the right place in just the right form I just had to move about to get it in the right place. I think it rather looks like a green volcanoe.
Editing
Only slight adjustments were needed to this image to correct the white balance and contrast I try to keep the iso as low as possible to keep the image free from noise.
In my camera bag
Aurora photography does not need a lot of kit. A good lens which does not need auto focus. Wide aperture is the most important thing with such extreme low light. The most important thing is the tripod. I run a tourist company with a photography school and am still amazed at how many people buy the best camera they can afford and then put it on top of some cheap wobbly legs and expect good pictures. A good tripod is more important than a lot of people think, you should not buy this cheap rubbish. Get a good set of legs from the start. Your pictures will improve no end. My trusty D810 is of course a good piece of kit for this kind of thing. It has good noise control and excellent dynamic range. My bags contains a radio release for the shutter. The aforementioned tripod. Samyang 14mm f2.8 Sigma 20mm f1.4 and my trusty d810. Thats what I take with me for aurora trips.
Feedback
If you want to get the aurora check out the all the web prediction sites but do not rely on them as the aurora is very often there when no one expects it. It is also very often not there when all predictions are high. Autumn seems to be the best time of year when the sun and earth axis are parallel to each other. Thats is when our magnetic field is weakest. It lets the weakest sun particles through to our upper atmosphere to create this wonder of the natural world. A lot of "experts" on aurora photography are telling people to use iso 3200 right from the start but I say you have to know your kit. If your camera is a bit older then keep the iso low and use a longer exposure, watch out for streaky stars though.The shorter your focal length the longer you can expose before you get star streaks. You should aim for not more than 20secs. That will give you a cleaner image. If the aurora is very static or not very bright then you can do the same. Once it gets very active and starts dancing all over the sky possible with different colours in it you then need to increase the iso and reduce the shutter time to a couple of seconds to capture the structures and colours of the show.

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