School, Hat-trick on Burbot, Level 4 Aurora : A Great Day to Be in Alaska

Ahoy Readers! It is 3:47 AM in AK, and I have been sitting out all night enjoying a level 4 Aurora. That is how my day ended, but it began with class until 11 and then burbot fishing from 12- 1:30 – followed by burbot cleaning, because I got three today! The largest was a true ‘trophy’ of the burbot world and was 31 inches long. Tonight the burbot turned into a stirfry with onions, carrots, green pepper and tomato. Quite tasty!

Three burbot day! The largest is 31 inches, and the smallest... quite small! Unfortunately there is no catch and release when fishing overnight lines.
Three burbot day! The largest is 31 inches, and the smallest… quite small! Unfortunately there is no catch and release when fishing overnight lines.
A bruiser burbot! 31 inches!
A bruiser burbot! 31 inches!

After dinner I was looking forward to a night of the Aurora. I was sorely disappointed when unexpected clouds began to roll in at 3:00 PM. I need to have a discussion with the weatherman around here because they consistently blow the cloud cover forecast. However, by about 10 the clouds were cleared off to the north, which gave me hope to see the aurora. I headed to Murphy Dome, my favorite borealis perch, and when I got there it had already started! The aurora tonight was had an added twist of some cloud cover. I was a bit disappointed by that at first, but soon realized it had its benefits! A green ‘lightening’ storm was happening over head. The thin clouds were lit up much like the clouds of a thunderstorm. The effect was really quite stunning. I think that the timelapse video below captures that!

But, what is a timelapse? I use it a lot, and thought I would give a quick tutorial for those unacquainted! It is one of my favorite techniques to shoot, because it allows me to be hands-off with the camera and enjoy whats around me. The camera does a majority of the work! To understand a timelapse you have to first understand a movie. Movies are traditionally shot at about 24fps (I believe that’s correct, but let me know if I am not). That means every second 24 frames are shot and displayed. A timelapse, rather than shoot in ‘real time’ (ie: 24 fps), takes shots over an extended period of time and then combines them together at 24 fps. So, for example : tonight I was shooting 20 second exposures (22mm, f/2.8, 800 ISO) and taking one shot every 25 seconds. A little bit of simple math of 24 (frames)x25(seconds between each shot) gives us 600 seconds for every second of compiled video. In essence, that means for every second of video you are seeing 10 minutes of ‘real life’. That makes time pass pretty quickly!

I had a new, added benefit tonight. I am shooting my new Tokina 11-16. This is the first time I have mounted it to my OmD Em5, and wanted to give a little review for any Micro Four Thirds users. The lens shoots almost perfectly on the MFT system. One thing I noticed was some distortion on the edges. Definitely keep your shots in the center of the lens. This contradicts what I read about the lens being clean from edge to edge. Even adapted this lense shoots very fast and is a markable step up from my 12-50 EZ kit lens which I have traditionally used due to its viewing area. And, on the topic of viewing area, I didn’t seem to lose any of the 108 degree specified by the manufacture. I am shooting a Nikon Tokina, and was a bit worried I would lose some of the width due to adapting it up, but that didn’t happen. The only beef I have with the adapter is that it didn’t open the aperture all the way to 2.8. Rather, I had to wedge a piece of cardboard into the aperture expander to keep it open. I can adjust my aperature setting digitally with the MFT system, so it doesn’t really bother me that much. I basically want to shoot it wide open anyway. Overall though, I couldn’t be more happy with the lens for this Aurora shooting!

So, without further ado here is the Aurora from tonight. There is a good Aurora forecast coming up. If you are in Alaska, keep you eyes to the sky. I know I will be!

15 thoughts on “School, Hat-trick on Burbot, Level 4 Aurora : A Great Day to Be in Alaska”

  1. Hey Griz, I’m green with envy; timelapse is so beautiful. It reminded me of seeing the Auroa one Febrary on my way to work at LL Beans in Freeport, ME. It was around 6am and dark and the green lights were hanging in the sky. I didn’t want to get our of my car and go to work! Keep shooting.

  2. Crazy footage, Ian! I agree with Kass…the clouds create an aurora like no other I’ve ever seen. Glad the new lens worked out:) Can’t wait to see the next time lapse. Glad to see you are “catching on” to trot line fishing and taking some of the riff raff out of the river:)

    1. Yeah, Think the clouds are a really cool look and effect! I really like the lightening storm look. Lots of fresh fish protein in my diet! On tonights menu is burbot quesadillas with avocado, green pepper and onion

  3. Ian — Is that pronounced “bur BOT” or “bur BO” or with an accent on the first syllable?

    My older daughter, Jess, does some photography, too. She just got some new equipment today and wrote, “Now I’m in business.” Her picture had that same word, Tokina, on it. Looks as if it’s a lens. ?

    Sounds as if you’re keeping a teacher’s night time hours.


      1. I just got the Tokina 11-16 in the mail yesterday, a bit of a late Christmas present to myself. 😉 I’m shooting the Canon mount. I needed it for some practical things (interior photographs for rental units,) but tmost of he free world knows I’d rather use it for fun stuff like this! Enjoying your blog, Ian…keep the posts coming.

      2. Jess has two blogs, but I don’t know the addresses since I get her posts through email notices. She initially wanted to go to college in Alaska, but she wouldn’t leave her dog behind. (That’s probably where I got the Juneau idea.)

        I’ll check for the details. I know she reads your blog occasionally.

  4. Very disappointed. I was assuming I was gonna see time-lapse of the pout wrapping around your arm!!! All I got was a chartreuse thunderstorm…of which I’ve seen many!

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