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Posted March 29th, 2012

Northern Lights to the East

The aurora have been very quiet in recent years and this winter is the first I have photographed them since my days of shooting film. I am sure that I missed some good displays because we had extensive cloud cover the week when a burst of solar activity hit the news, but also because my location in the extreme south of the Yukon puts me near the outer edge of most of this season’s bands of auroral excitation and I do not have a clear view to the north. Earlier on the night that I took this photo the canvas of the sky was deep black and I had spent time exploring another new endeavour, photographing the heavens. I had a lot to do on the computer after that and it was well into the wee hours by the time I shut it down. As I got ready for bed I looked out the skylight window of a dark room and saw the sky almost filled with northern lights. I was tired and thought, “No, I can’t ...”, but by the time I finished brushing my teeth I knew I had to at least step out on the deck and grab a couple of quick shots. The results were encouraging but I was shooting too much through the trees to get a very good photograph. So I put on my boots and more warm outerwear and trudged down to the shore of the lake, where I captured this image. It was worth the lost sleep.
Pentax K-5, Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD @ 17mm, 23 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1100