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bmc

Northern Lights!!!

24 posts in this topic

Just wanted to let all you photographers know that the Northern Lights are here again. I don't know if it's because I haven't seen them since last fall/winter or what, but they looked pretty spectacular tonight. The show started here in Deer River, MN around 11:00 pm. Good Luck and I hope you can catch them tomorrow night if yer lucky!

Brian

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I was wondering it was the Northern Lights I saw a few minutes ago. Camera and I are on the wayout the door.

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Durn, all we've got here is a thin green line along the northern horizon. Well, they tend to start small, flare up toward the middle of the night and then back down again toward morning. We'll see if I can stay up . . .

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I went out, got some shots. If I can stay awake long enough to post a couple I will. they looked good on my lcd screen.

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Ok Here are some shots. I could see it from my backyard but wasn't sure it was the Northern LIghts. I hopped on the internet and was looking at the atmospheric storm forcast and it looked like it may have been. Then I see BMC's post and I grabbed my bag and tripod and out the door I went. I drove about 15 miles north of Moorhead to try and get away from light polution. I had a lot of fog out so wasn't sure what would happen.

So Here are my pics taken with my Canon XTI using my 17-85 IS USM, cable release, and a Bogen window mount(neat deal everyone should have one.)

Pic #1 iso 1600, F4, Manual Focus, exposure time of 91 seconds, 17MM.

102643896.jpg

Pic #2 ISO 800, F4, 17mm, Manual focus, BULB for 62 seconds.

102643895.jpg

Pic #3 ISO 200 17mm, bulb, 78 sec.

102643892.jpg

Pic #4 ISO800, 17mm, f4 for 61 sec exposure on Bulb setting. Check out the Big Dipper on this shot.

102643891.jpg

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Well, it was a bust for me. Clouds came in. I drove out to Burntside Lake and the aurora lights were looking like they were going to start to flare up.

I got set up along the south shore facing north with not a breath of wind and the lights reflecting in the still water. Was about to start working when I noticed clouds forming. Inside 2 minutes the whole northern part of the sky was clouding up. Through the patches of clouds, I could see the aurora was climbing, but the clouds kept coming.

I gave up and drove home.

Figures. frown

Paul, nice images there!

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Paul, nice pics. Yeah, me and a couple of the deputies I work with were wondering if Canada had a nuke dropped on them and we were just seeing the after glow...at first. Then it kicked in, "oh yeah, it's the northern lights.......duh!"

Steve, sorry the clouds screwed you over for tonight's shoot. Thankfully this is just the beginning of the season for the "lights"!

Brian

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Nice! Especially like the Big Dipper centered in there.

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Awesome captures, Paul - I love the first and last shots, and thanks for including the exposure information. We don't get the opportunity to see the aurora down here very often so it's nice to have a place to begin shooting if and when I get the chance -- meantime I look forward to enjoying what you northerners share!

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Quote:
staying up late was worthwhile

That may be so, but I am really draggin but today at work.

sleep

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Very nice Paul, I think #3 is my favorite. It's been 22 years since I've seen the Northern Lights, they just aren't visible out here much. We've got clear skies tonight, I think I'll head out and see what I can see tonight.

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Beautiful captures Paul!...I have yet to get a photo of the northern lights. I know when I was a kid(a few years ago grin) we'd all stand in the yard and watch em over head and were like great shafts or pillars of light dancing straight above us!....and there's one thing I'll always remember from a couple particular nights...the display made a "crackling noise"..yes...we all heard them...on more then one occasion...made noise like "crackling cellophane"...maybe my ears were better back then grin...I've since googled the "noise" thing and apparently others have heard it also...although very rare!

Below is from a report I found of the sounds from the aurora's...

"most curious and highly controversial question involves auroral sound. Although I've never heard one, my wife has and so have several scientists I know. Some reports of hearing noises associated with auroral displays may be erroneous impressions, but I am convinced many others are not. Hundreds of written reports indicate noises are sensed when a particular type of fast-Aurora is nearly overhead. Some people sense whistling and "crackling noises", even when they close their eyes.

The reports of auroral sound make it certain that the unknown cause of the apparent sound is in the vicinity of the hearer, not in the Aurora itself. Most likely, the reported noises are related to electrical phenomena which accompany certain types of bright Aurora.'

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Did they look green in real life? I've seen them many times but I always remember white. The one photo I took at home shows them as white too. What might change the color? Height in the sky? Atmospheric particulates? Too much beer?

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Quote:
Did they look green in real life?

Yep, but I've seen brilliant red ones as well! Jonny, I remember listening to them when I was a kid, too. I've seen some great ones later in life, but haven't heard them since when I was young.

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In N.D., they always seemed to be white. All the ones I've seen here in the Arrowhead have been green. I have only a couple times seen red with the naked eye, but film/sensor captures colors it's hard to see, and some of the northern lights images I've reviewed after a green N.L. display showed red in them.

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I think I like the last one the best! I'll tell you northern lights with nice foreground elements are way up on my "want list". I keep looking at Iceland Air dreaming about the day I can head over to Iceland and get some wallhangers (well one can hope).

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I believe a person could do quite well in Alaska, and it's much more accessible than Iceland. grin I've seen some pretty awesome shots of the northern lights in Alaska.

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On a couple of the pics, I took with better than 2 minutes of exposure at iso 1200 actaully showed the corn field acros the road as well as the stripe on the shoulder.

2 years ago I saw such an amazing display on the border with Canda It had red, green and white. They were so bright I was able to turn off my headlighs and drive down the road. OF course I did not have my camera with for some dumb reason.

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That could explain it, Steve, I grew up in North Dakota and now live in west central Minnesota where we have a Dakota accent.

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