I was told by another photographer that the earth had rotated into a sunspot during the first few days that I was in Norway, which was why there was a massive surge in aurora activities. After we arrived at the beach, I was thrilled when I first saw a faint green band of northern lights, then I was jumping up and down when I started to see green, then purple northern lights. Then my jaw hit the floor when all of the sudden the entire sky exploded with all kinds of colors and lights. This is a quarter section of the sky that was dancing with northern lights at the peak of its activity. It was absolutely incredible.
I used an app call Aurora Alert on this trip. In theory, it’s supposed to give you location based aurora forecast and give alerts for your location when there are activity and the sky is clear. The alert worked beautifully on this night. The activity was showing a solid 5+ (moderate to a major storm) on the short term forecast. So our hopes were up.
This shot was taken at Haulkland Beach, Norway, shooting towards the west. The aurora activity was pretty quiet just seconds ago, then it absolutely exploded overhead. The bright sky meant that I quickly went from shooting at an 8-second exposure down to just 2 seconds, and I was still close to blowing out some of the aurora lights. The foreground also lit up nicely from all the northern lights! This image is a single exposure. I also put the white balance into “Daylight” to retain the green glow, of course, you can adjust it later in post processing, but if I can minimize my work in post processing with a few press of a button, I’m going to do it.
F/2.8 2 Sec ISO 6400 Manual Focus
Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 16-35mm F/2.8
Gitzo GT2542 Carbon Fiber Tripod
RFN-4 Wireless Remote Shutter Release
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