Aurora Borealis Photo, Finally

By , November 12, 2013

Saturday morning, our region experienced an excellent aurora borealis display. We got up in time to watch it for awhile in the 2:00 hour. The University of Alaska Geophysical Institute Website listed it as a moderate display, but it’s one of the better ones I remember seeing in years.

The focal point of the display appeared to be slightly south of us. The best views came directly overhead as we stood on the beach, or to the south of us. It featured several different “kinds” of aurora, including vast, sweeping swirls of light, and very fast moving flickers.

I grabbed my new camera as we went out the door. Of course, I hadn’t programmed any of the presets for aurora display, and haven’t learned the camera well enough to figure out what to do on the fly. Besides, I was still half asleep—I tried to take several photos before I figured out that I’d left the lens cap on! I messed with it for awhile, then gave up, as I so often do. Better to watch the events around the “homestead” rather than spend the whole time witnessing them through a viewfinder, particularly if I know I’m not getting any good shots.

A few days later, I took some other photos, and downloaded them on the computer. To my surprise, I found that one of my attempts to photograph the aurora actually worked!

Most of my photographer friends got far better photos that night, both in Haines and Juneau. But, if I got one that’s this good when I didn’t really know what I’m doing, with a little study and practice, I ought to get some nice shots in the future!

"Look Ma, no tripod!" Aurora Borealis over The Mountain With No Name, Lynn Canal, Alaska (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

“Look Ma, no tripod!” Aurora Borealis over The Mountain With No Name, Lynn Canal, Alaska (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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