the night after leaving tromsø, we finally had proper and fully awesome northern lights!
here are also three videos i created. they consist of 1316, 496 and 433 single photos, respectively, each with an exposure time of one second (the first video) respectively two seconds (the last two videos). sorry for the jumps here and there, sometimes my camera makes a little break after rapidly taking a bunch of photos.
just for fun, i turned one of the snow fall shot series from this morning into a little video. sorry for the perspective change at the end, this was not intended. i aligned the shots with hugin, scaled them down with imagemagick and converted them to a mp4 video and an ogg video using avconv. (if you’re interested in the commands i used, mention that in the comments, i’ll then post them.)
one reason why i like the north so much are northern lights: aurora borealis. lappland is a good place to see them, as is northern canada. thanks to the cloud cover, i missed several great auroras (judging from shots people did in this area during these days), but i still saw something. the first set of aurorae appeared when i was outside of guesthouse husky, during one night:
while visiting inari with some other guests staying at the guesthouse, we met andy keen, an aurora hunter and photographer. he gave us a lift back to ivalo, and told us a bit about his history and his fascination on auroras. well, two days later, one other guest and me went on an aurora hunting trip with andy. unfortunatley, we weren’t lucky enough to get a full-blown aurora. but we still saw something, at least! for that, andy drove us somewhere north of inari, near to a lake, where we had a great view over the lake in the direction of norway. the moon was shining bright, and without the stars it almost seemed like daylight. (i guess without the moon the aurorae would have looked more intense as well…) here are some impressions from the lake:
we later continued to another very nice spot, of which i already showed two photos here, and on the way back we stopped on a bridge where we got another wonderful view. (the last four photos of the previous post show these locations.) unfortunatley, both times without auroras. but that’s the problem of aurora hunting, you’re depending a lot on luck. (according to murphy’s law, there probably was a wonderful intense aurora as soon as we were in bed ;-) )
if you’re ever around this area and want to see auroras, do not have a car (to escape the clouds) or just don’t know what to look for, ask andy. he’s a nice guy :-) and it’s nice to be able to start dozing off while someone drives you home in the middle of the night…
november 30, 2010 at 23:04 by felix.three comments.
this weekend, i payed yellowknife a second visit. this time, during winter, with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. and more aurora viewings.
here’s a first impression i got on the first day. it was taken at 14:20, and you can see that the sun was already pretty near to the horizon. the sunset is around 15:30, and goes down to 15:00 during winter’s shortest days. sunrise was around 9:30 the time i was there; it goes up to 10:00 during the shortest days.
i was staying in the narwal bed and breakfast, a small bed and breakfast located near the great slave lake, meaning i could just walk on the frozen lake and hopefully see some nice auroras during nighttime. here’s a nighttime impression, without an aurora but with clouds:
during the days, i often walked around and on the frame lake. lots of memories came up. it was often cloudy with breaks. here are some nice impressions:
finally, on the second and third night, the sky was mostly clear. and both nights featured auroras! the second night had a not very bright one, at least while i was outside, but the third and last night had some really great ones. here are a few impressions:
finally, here’s a video i recorded, consisting of 484 frames, each shot having an exposure time of one second. the movie is played back with six frames per second, i.e. you get a time lapse:
on our last night in yellowknife, we had the luck to see an aurora borealis. experiencing an aurora is something hard to describe. the following photos and videos just give a small glimpse of its wafting beauty.
for the more technically interested people, the camera settings i used for most photos are a shutter speed of 8 seconds, aperture of f/4.0 and iso sensitivity of 800. this was the first time where i was really happy that i have a remote for my camera’s shutter and a tripod. below you can view some videos, taken with these settings (hence, between two frames there are around 8 seconds delay). there are six frames per second, whence the videos are around 48 times faster as the real aurora was. each video comes as a flash player together with an avi download (the avi files contain essentially a sequence of jpeg files, so no fancy codec is required).