Denali Highway Aurora 1

Denali Highway Aurora 1, Cantwell, Alaska

I just returned from almost 2 weeks in Alaska and had fabulous weather the entire trip. In fact, it was so nice that shooting conditions were less than ideal because there were no clouds in the sky for landscape or wildlife photography. The few times that there were sunrise/sunset clouds were on the days that I was driving long distances and did not have time to shoot. Fortunately, I made the most of what was available to me and that included photographing a beautiful appearance of the aurora borealis. Some friends of mine in Talkeetna told me the northern lights were out very late one night while I was sleeping, so I checked the aurora forecast the next day on and decided to stay up that night to shoot. Though I was getting over a cold and exhausted from lousy travel sleep, I drove up the Denali Highway and stayed up until 3 am. Fortunately, the lights made an appearance and were at their best around 1 am. I set my camera on ISO 1600 and used my Carl Zeiss 35mm f2 lens set at f2.8 and 12 seconds to record this image. The aurora was more interesting off to the left of the frame, but I really liked these trees to make the entire composition, rather than just an aurora picture of the sky.

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    I’ve seen nights where a gazillion stars twinkle with laughter as I try to stay awake counting them, but I’ve never seen the aurora borealis. Someday… I agree with you, Jon, the tree silhouettes add even more interest to your image. Beautiful.

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