Aurora Borealis Prairie Style
When I was in the mountains a few days ago, Pat Boomer from The Alberta Foothills Weather blog, kindly sent me an email letting me know that a huge solar flare had just erupted from the sun and might make for beautiful photos of the aurora borealis in the mountains. As it turned out during my stay the sun and the stars never made an appearance. Sigh.
So this evening I’m out walking the dog back in Edmonton, overhead the sky is black and clear, the stars are twinkling, a couple of bright planets are on the western horizon and what do I see to the north? A broad blue/green band of northern lights. I stood in the middle of a school yard away from most of the bright street lights watching natures light show skipping across the atmosphere. It sure looked good. Good enough to head back home, grab the camera and drive for ten minutes to a place that has been photographed by me umpteen times before.
From a quick read earlier in the week it seemed that 30 seconds, f2.8 at 400 ISO would work. I changed the ISO to 800, the grain isn’t noticeable on my camera at 800, halved the shutter speed to minimize the motion of the stars and fired away. On the camera display the image seemed too bright so I cut back to ten seconds and all seemed well.
A little color correction, a bit of curves adjusted for density and contrast and voila. I didn’t stay out for too long, I was too sleepy and the light show fizzled. It’s probably glowing outside right now. LOL
That’s it. It’s not what I usually shoot but I see plenty of potential here for another night.