Okay, I’m awake. First batch of aurora photos

Okay, when I was younger I stayed out all night quite frequently. In fact, I worked overnights for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy. I know what it’s like to stay out late. But now that I’m all growed up and have a real job and family, I don’t get to do it so much. So I’m a little crushed by staying out past 4am this morning. But it was WORTH IT.

My feed, like yours, probably blew up with Northern Lights photos last night and today. Fantastic. Recently I’ve dreaded that, because my photos haven’t been among them. This time, however, I was able to get out with my best friend and get some shots of my own! So let’s go…

First off, shots like this are amazing. I got a bunch with my phone, and I’ll post those later. But when I plan for Northern Lights, my first priority is finding a good location – including finding a good foreground object. After all, a photo like this is fantastic, but it lacks context. Normally I’d want an old farmstead or church, but I didn’t have anything like that handy. I did, however, have a nice, simple spot in mind.

Sometimes a simple fence post will do. In this case, I really liked the spot I’d picked. I identified this general location, a stone’s throw from my property, as a quick go-to aurora photo location long ago. Last night I put it to use.

The trees nearby also made life interesting. This is a perfect rural scene. I employ long exposures to get my foreground just right, and thankfully the sky was so well-lit that I had no problem exposing for both the ground and the sky.

One nice thing about gravel roads is that they work both ways. This was looking back toward town, with the resulting glow on the horizon. The variety of forms last night’s auroras took was a real blast to capture.

I originally came here for the hills, to be honest. But I tend to favor what’s right in front of the camera when I do shots like these, and the fence posts worked perfectly for framing the evening/morning.

The frogs were digging it, too. They were singing along the entire time we were there. It was busy down by the water, with all kinds of birds chiming in, too. Here we have more of the spiky stuff that I love most about the Northern Lights.

After a while, and long after midnight, sheets of light began racing to the overhead focal point featured in my first photo. These were so bright that the eye could easily pick out the reds, something pretty remarkable for the human eye.

As soon as one prominent feature waned, another would present. That meant while even though I was working in a close area I had to be able to whip the camera around and frame up something else. I’d go from spike to wave to vortex within minutes, chasing each new burst. It was a real blast!

Good news! It looks like the Space Weather Prediction Center is convinced that these auroras may continue through the weekend. So I better get my gear ready, pick a new spot, get a good evening nap in, and be prepared to bolt to another location for more auroras if conditions persist.

I have plenty more photos to post, using my iPhone 15 Pro. The camera in that, while it isn’t the same as a “big camera”, took some really impressive shots, too. Stay tuned…

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