Sign up for our newsletter
Stay up to date on all the latest photography gear!Subscribe
Photo Of The Day By Robert HendersonToday’s Photo of the Day is...
Photo Of The Day By Max FosterToday’s Photo of the Day is “The...
Photo Of The Day By Ross StoneToday’s Photo of the Day is “Mobius...
Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.
The Bridge To Black & White
Creative considerations for making black-and-white images from color files.
How To Use Hyperfocal Focusing
Understand and use hyperfocal focusing to create sharper images and enhanced depth of field.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Boom, Baby!
Exploring the explosive beauty of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Parks For The People
George Grant toiled in obscurity for nearly three decades as the first official photographer of the National Park Service. Ren and Helen Davis want to make sure his story isn’t lost to history.
Be A Wildlife Biographer
My discovery of wildlife photography felt like a fulfillment of that lifelong affinity and fascination for animals.
This is the 1st of your 3 free articles
Become a member for unlimited website access and more.
FREE TRIAL Available!
Already a member? Sign in to continue reading
Midnight on the Taiga
Last evening began with very high expectations : the forecast was for clear skies, and the aurora predictions were for another busy night. And when the first lights appeared early – about 8 pm – we settled in for what we thought would be a long, busy night.
Then began what can only be called the “dressing ritual”, the donning of multiple layers of clothing: hats, scarves boots, gloves, over-gloves and over-mittens. (At -35 C., you need to be pretty well-padded to spend the evening standing around outside.)
For an hour or so, there was a lot of activity, with waving bands of green filling the sky. Loops formed and then untied themselves, and fleeting curtains of dancing light appeared and then, just as abruptly, vanished.
Green is the most common color in the aurora, the result of the excitation of oxygen molecules high in the atmosphere caused by incoming charged solar particles. Other colors – red, purple, violet – are possible, but are more commonly associated with stronger solar events. Some of these are not visible to the human eye, but are recorded by film and sensors. So it was not until I had a chance to open images on the laptop that it became clear that tonight’s lights did not have some of the red tinges of previous nights.
Whether or not that itself was a kind of indicator of diminishing activity, the lights faded quickly before midnight, and never really re-formed for the rest of the night. What was supposed to be a Big Night, became a quiet evening, and a chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
Today, meanwhile, the skies are clear again, and expectations are as high as ever for tonight. In about 12 hours, we’ll see what happens.
p.s. I have been told that this is not really a “live-blog” since I’m not giving minute-by-minute reports on the aurora activity. True enough – but frankly I’d rather be out shooting!
Nikon D3, 28mm f/1.4 lens, 13 sec. ISO 1000