It’s the most frequently asked question I see online when there is a geomagnetic storm in progress or forecast to strike the magnetosphere: “Quick! What settings should my camera be set to?”. Well, it’s a bit of a loaded question with no simple answer since not all cameras or sensors are the same and the aurora is so dynamic. There is absolutely no real right answer. Sorry, but really this article is about getting to know and understand your camera settings more than anything else. I’ll try to simplify and focus on what you need for aurora photography and give . . . read more
As I eagerly await the release of GIMP 2.10 that will support both 16 and 32 bit color depth, I figured it’s a fine time to continue what I started with aurora post processing 1: white balance and noise and give a more in depth tutorial on processing digital aurora images (using all open-source software). In this installment I’ll be using RawTherapee, a program very similar to Lightroom. If you want some simpler answers to processing aurora photographs (with easier to use software and interface), check out the above link. This tutorial here is more in-depth, should be easy enough . . . read more
(For more in-depth editing, check out the second installment: Aurora Post Processing 2: Raw Therapee) I think a lot of people out there take some great shots of the northern lights, only to blow the final product in their editing suite, whatever it may be. Everyone’s philosophy differs on the editing side of things, so in that respect this is all opinion. I like to keep the editing simple, with as few steps as possible. After a lot of reading and trial and error, here is what I’ve found works for me. . . What I want to show you . . . read more
*A few site updates today: I have a new facebook page where I’ll be posting a lot of content over the next few weeks and hopefully holding a raffle for some prints and a canvas in the next couple of months. Be sure to like the page to keep up with news and pics! The online store is fully up and running now. Prints can be made on many photos up to 12″x18″ and up to 24″x36″ for canvas. I can still print larger, but I like to review them first – so you can always shoot me an e-mail . . . read more
One day you wake up and realize it’s already a few days into November. What happened? It’s really sad because there’s not a lot to do outside right now. There’s not enough snow for skiing, there’s just enough snow in the mountains to cover cracks and holes, but not enough to support your body weight over them, and it’s getting colder. We also had a really warm October and now the cold feels too cold. The temperatures haven’t even fallen below zero fahrenheit yet. The one redeeming quality of this season is the light. As cold as it is, we . . . read more
On the morning of October 30 I woke up and went outside to use the outhouse, like everyone does in the morning, and the sky was pulsing green. Pulsating aurora frequently happens after an evening of a high activity, so I knew I missed a good show that night. I grabbed my camera anyway and took a few still images. The pulsation frequency was about 5 seconds, so it shows more as a flicker in this sped-up version. Since you can’t see the pulsations in the still images I set up the camera for a time-lapse for a few minutes. . . . read more
Kate, Moose, and I took another long walk, this time on the UAF trails. It won’t be long before most of the trails are closed for skiing only, so we’re trying to get in some good exercise with the dog during this short time when the trails aren’t a total swamp. We started at Ballaine Lake on Farmer’s Loop, walked to Smith Lake and back in about a 4.5 mile loop. The colors over Smith Lake were pretty nice. Moose’s hips are still getting stronger two years after his surgery!
The color in the sky before we got to UAF on Friday was spectacular. It faded quickly as the Sun broke over the horizon. I just barely managed to get a few shots around IARC and the parking lot for the trails before all the golden and pink light was gone. Rain crept in slowly on Saturday. I barely managed to change the oil in the car before it started drizzling. Kate and I took the dog for a walk at Creamer’s Field. It’s crazy that we’ve never taken him there when it’s so close. The trails actually border the . . . read more