Technique Tuesday: Shooting the Aurora Borealis


Not long ago my staff members been given the subsequent problem in regards to the above graphic:

“Was this photo a single shot, an HDR composite, or some other approach?”

Limited Respond to:

this is from the superior ol’ times when you shot a slide (single exposure in this case) and waited a couple months to see if everything turned out…

Medium remedy:

All the particulars – Canon EOS-1N, Canon EF 17-35mm lens, f/2.8 at 30 seconds, Fujichrome Provia 400 movie, Gitzo G1325 tripod.

Loooong Reply:

The aurora borealis, or the “northern lights” as they are typically named is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs as electrically billed particles from the sunshine make gases glow in the upper environment. Inspite of the dryness of this scientific rationalization, it is tough to check out the aurora borealis without having experiencing a perception of wonderment and mysticism. It continues to be one of the most dazzling sights in the all-natural earth.

To get this graphic, I flew to Fairbanks, Alaska, then drove 8 hrs north to the Brooks Array on the renowned pipeline street to Prudhoe Bay. The Brooks Range lies inside of the Arctic Circle and hence delivers a a lot more predictable possibility to see the aurora borealis. I timed my journey to coincide with a 50 percent moon simply because the snow-clad vary would be correctly illuminated by the 50 percent moon’s gentle. A complete moon may actually have been too shiny for the duration of the demanded 30-next publicity. I found out that in spite of the point that the aurora is in continual motion, a 30-next exposure is typically rapid ample to generate right exposure and moderately sharp lines in the shows. When I photographed this screen, I was sad with its color, which appeared to be a dull, pale green. When I returned home and designed the movie, I was delightfully astonished to find out that the film picked up the reds.

This photo is highlighted in the reserve “Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky” as well as becoming readily available as a wonderful are print.

Are there any shots in my selection you’d like to hear the tale at the rear of? Fall a remark beneath – your suggestion could spark an thought for a potential web site post!


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