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Old August 25th, 2015, 01:33 PM
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anjin_nav anjin_nav is offline
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"And God said 'Let there be light.'"

We had a forecast for good aurora very early Sunday morning (midnight), so I went to bed early, got up early, and got out. It was well worth the trip! I took 175 pictures, and amazingly most of them turned out. Here are some of our favorites, for various reasons.

I won't deny working these in Lightroom. The interesting concept is "what I saw." Obviously I couldn't make out the detail in a glimpse these longer exposures bring in. The longer exposure also bumps the saturation a bit. Then there's how Lightroom interprets the initial RAW file. But in the end, "how I saw it" was more than just visual; it was emotional, I was a bit cold as the night wore on, it was both loud and peaceful as the lights waxed and waned, and generally exciting. All this gets put into my interpretation of the scene to tell the story.

1) This one is all about the story. Everywhere near Anchorage with a flat space to park was filled. There were photographers, tourists (many delivered via taxi), families, and gawkers there to view this awesome site. I liked how the lights in Anchorage silhouetted these photographers.


Anchorage Aurora.jpg by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual Exposure, f/5.6, 6 sec, ISO 2500, Nikon 14-24 @ 14mm, tripod

2) This is my personal favorite, and destined for a print (thus the crop ratio). I had hoped to illustrate the scale of the lights against the nearby mountains, but unfortunately I think the fence (which I used consciously) ends up minimizing the scale somewhat.


Green and Purple Over McHugh.jpg by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual exposure, f/2.8, 1 sec, ISO 2500, Nikon 14-24mm @ 14mm, tripod

3) This is from a location called Potter Marsh, which is most famous in Anchorage for the waterfowl that use this protected wetlands for migrations. I'd hoped to get some water reflections to include. The reflections didn't turn out, but in the end I liked this one looking NE toward Anchorage. It helps show how bright the aurora can indeed get.


Potter Marsh Aurora.jpg by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual Exposure, F/5, 8 sec, ISO 2500, Nikon 14-24 @ 14mm, tripod

4) It's amazing that in even as unimaginative a person as me, pareidolia takes over, and you start seeing things that aren't really there. I see an angel, a dragon, and a demon.

4a)

Aurora Angel.jpg by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual exposure, f/2.8, 1 sec, ISO 2500, 14-24@14mm, tripod

4b)

Auroral Dragon.jpg by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual exposure, f/2.8, 1 sec, ISO 2500, 14-24@14mm, tripod

4c)

Beautifully Spooky.jpg by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual exposure, f/2.8, 1 sec, ISO 1250, 14-24@15mm, tripod

5) But in the end, I'm sharing because of the emotional impact of the event on me. I hope this one conveys the sense of joy and awe I had while there. Technically, it was challenging getting the hyperfocal set, getting the composition I wanted, timing the shot between wind gusts that blurred the leaves in the tree, and not getting stepped on by folks walking up and down the path.


Aurora Tree Wallpaper by Tim Murray, on Flickr
Manual Exposure, f/5, 10 sec, ISO 2500, 14-24@17mm, tripod

The aurora is well worth making the effort to see, and I highly recommend it.

As always, I welcome your comments and critique.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 01:54 PM
JAshley JAshley is offline
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Beautiful Series Tim! Thanks for sharing.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 04:22 PM
noelcmn noelcmn is offline
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

A sight to see-I am filled with envy. WONDERFUL! On both counts-the emotion stirred and the images captured.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 05:23 PM
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

I am so envious right now! I had to make a trip to Germany to spend time with my poorly sister, and I have missed sooooooo many nights of Northern Lights.

There better be some more when I get back.

All of these are gorgeous. I think the last is my favourite, but I do love them all. Lucky you.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 05:35 PM
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Thats something I've never witnessed in real life, looks beautiful !! Makes me think of the guys back in the 60s LSD days, can you imagine sitting there watching that while you're trippin LOL beautiful work Tim !!
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Old August 25th, 2015, 08:29 PM
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Jaw dropping stuff for sure Tim......... hard to pick any one as a favorite.

This is certainly something I've put on the bucket list, hopefully it will come to fruition.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 08:38 PM
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Brilliant captures here Tim, thanks for sharing
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Old August 25th, 2015, 11:26 PM
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Wonderful series Tim I really like the one with the fence
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Old August 25th, 2015, 11:35 PM
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Now That's A LIGHT SHOW...
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Old August 27th, 2015, 10:47 PM
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anjin_nav anjin_nav is offline
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Re: "And God said 'Let there be light.'"

Thanks for viewing and commenting, John, Noel, Sabine, Jim, John, Manny, Clark, and Jerry!
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