Two nights ago I watched the Aurora with someone for whom it would be their last (for awhile), and last night I brought someone out for their first experience of it ever! Both moments are joyous, I believe and this is the tale of two auroras. Both of the nights have been put together into this timelapse which is undoubtedly one of my best to date. I grin at how well the music matches the event and the footage here gives a certain feeling to the urgency of the Aurora.
On September 25th my friend Jonathan and I headed to Eagle Summit (the same place where I timelapsed the solstice) for the aurora. Its location 120 miles north on the Steese Highway provides huge vistas and no light pollution aside from any passing cars. This Aurora was actually Jonathan’s last of his current career in Alaska, so we wanted to make it memorable 🙂
The new moon on the 25th provided inky darkness for a backdrop and the aurora used green and pink ink to sign its signature in the heavens. We were able to enjoy the brilliance of the Milky Way just as much as the Aurora which presented us an excellent show!
On September 26th the hype was high that the Aurora would be booming. In fact, I believe there were shows in Minnesota last night, and may be tonight too. Keep your eyes up!
One of the shots I wanted to highlight was this 30 minute exposure of the aurora. I have been trying to pull of this shot for a very long time, and the moonless night provided just the backdrop! The north star is the non-moving point of this shot. I couldn’t be more happy with it!
I wrangled my housemate Roman to go out for the Aurora with me. He is an international student who had not had the opportunity to see the the Lights before. The show actually burst at 9:30 and presented some great colors including the “watermelon aurora”. To top it off Roman was creative enough to build us a small fire – it was a great night!
11 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Auroras”
I’m sure you’re already glad you’ve noted your work in such a successful blog, but believe me, the day will come when you will appreciate your efforts even more than now. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Thanks Sandy! I have already had great moments reliving memories when I re-read these entries. I can’t imagine what that will feel like 10 years from now!
… or forty years. 🙂
Holy moly!!! This ranks as one of your best photographic blogs…both for videos and stills. Don’t have my hearing aids on, so couldn’t listen to sound track. But when the Hall of the Mountain King credit popped up, I burst out laughing. I am mentally playing the soundtrack and juxtaposing with the auroral explosions you captured. And I just laughed again. And that 30-minute still with North Star as pivot point was stupendous.
Yup! The music makes it 🙂 Haha. Especially at the end the crescendo is a nice effect.
Wow, Ian! Would you consider making postcards with these shots? They would be among the most magnificent that exist. I am remembering your scientific explanation for auroras and am trying to coalesce explanation with images.
That would be great, Peggy! That actually would be pretty easy, I think! I will look into – if I sent you some pictures would you want to make some?
That is not one of my strengths!
I once heard that Grieg was on narcotics when he wrote the songs for “Peer Gynt,” but I could never find a credible source for that and decided it wasn’t true. If you ever read the lyrics for the “Hall of the Mountain King,” they are quite bizarre. It is a remarkably dramatic composition.
Nice pics, Ian. Logan and I were only graced with a brief burst–better luck next time. One of your pictures captions says “lone pine,” and I thought you might want to change that to spruce. Justin
On Sat, Sep 27, 2014 at 10:24 AM, Ian A Johnson : Life, Wildlife, Wild-life
😀 Lone Spruce it is! Thanks for the update. There’s a M-class burst headed to earth which crasheres here today or tomorrow. Might be cloudy, but keep your eyes up!