Recently I had the amazing experience of photographing the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights. This phenomonen has always fascinated the human race, causing many photographers like myself to scatter in search of the perfect vista view. The last time I was lucky enough to witness the Aurora Borealis was in 1997, and I’ll never forget the impact it left on my imagination. Never before had I seen such a dazzling display of light.
Fast forward to October 8th of 2012. . .
I was monitoring a geomagnetic disturbance on Spaceweather.com, and decided it’d be in my best interest to step outside and monitor the conditions for myself – there’s only so much a computer will tell you. Upon first glance, nothing was visible to the naked eye, just millions of stars – garbage!
But I wasn’t giving up that easy. If SWPC says there are auroras, I needed to be absolutely sure nothing wild was going on. So after my naked-eye test results turned up negative, I pulled out my next (and most accurate) test – a long exposure shot facing due north. Sure enough, a green glow was dominating the horizon. This provided a jolt of adrenalin, making my decision to pony up, find every hand warmer possible and jump in the space mobile to find a prime time location to witness the action unfold.
After a ten minute drive to my spot, I knew I had made a great decision. Just moments later a column of cosmic light came beaming into our atmosphere like it was looking for someone. The intensity of auroras fluctuated, ranging from noticeably apparent, to almost non existent. Over the next couple hours auroras could be seen dancing across the sky like a hippie at a Grateful Dead show.