Posts Tagged ‘Northern Lights’

7 Reasons Not To Use Numbered Lists in Your Blog Post Titles

Sunday, April 5th, 2015
The northern lights soar above the mountains in arctic Alaska.

The northern lights soar above the mountains in arctic Alaska.

7 Reasons Not To Use Numbered Lists in Your Blog Post Titles

1) Numbered lists are overdone. 2003 is long, long gone.

2) Write something worthwhile reading, then you don’t need to use stupid click-bait headings to draw an audience.

3) The world has enough spam already. (more…)

Northern lights over Mentasta Mountains

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Northern lights, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Northern lights over the Mentasta Mountains, tundra, boreal forest and a small kettle pond on a moonlit night. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

From the recent trip to shoot the northern lights in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. I’ve never seen clouds move in quite so quickly as they did this particular evening. I’d se up to shoot over in the Glennallen area, and before long, high clouds rolled in from the southwest. In order to keep shooting, I had to figure which would be the best direction to head.

I chose north and east, toward the Nabesna Road, partly because I wanted to be in that area for sunrise. So I spent the evening trying to stay ahead of the lights and catch what images I could along the way. Finally, I made it to where I wanted to be, and then set off to find a composition I wanted.

For any Alaskans out there, or anyone else who’s hiked over muskeg before, you’ll appreciate this one.; try setting out at night time to hike over the muskeg for your photos. I guarantee that WILL kick your a$$.

Then I spent the rest of the evening waiting for the lights to turn on. They popped out a few times, but never really strongly, though they were pretty active. The full moon made for plenty of light for the foreground. I wish I could’ve gotten a little closer to the water’s edge here, but all that long grass in the foreground sits in about 10 inches of water. If the lights had offered something really dazzling, I might have ventured out, but for staying dry and warm seemed a better option given the circumstances.

Finally I fell asleep under a spruce tree, woke up to a clouded sky, and stumbled my way backward camp and my superwarm, absolutely amazing, Western Mountaineering Lynx sleeping bag. life was good. I didn’t get up for sunrise.

Cheers

Carl

Northern Lights over Wrangell Mountains

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Northern lights, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

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Photography; does it get in the way

Monday, March 21st, 2011
Aurora borealis and Denali, Denali State Park, Alaska.

Aurora borealis lights up the winter night sky over Mt McKinley, highest mountain in North America, also called Denali. Viewpoint from Denali State Park, Alaska. Click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

One topic I’ve often heard discussed relating to nature and outdoor photography pertains to the value of the experience itself. Does photography “get in the way”, and limit the photographers’ realization of the experience itself, or does it add to it?

I have friends, for example, that don’t like to bring a camera on a backpacking trip because they feel it hinders how they are able to soak up the actual experience. They’d rather sit and watch that glorious sunrise than fiddle with the camera and try to get a good composition. They’d rather sit back and stare in awe at the Aurora borealis do its thing over Denali than take their gloves off and tweak camera settings. (more…)

Aurora borealis last night

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
Aurora borealis and waxing crescent moon, Alaska.

Aurora borealis and setting moon, in the Waxing Crescent phase, light up the winter night sky, Alaska. To view a larger version of this photo, please click on the image above.

Hey Folks,

Just a quick shot from last night’s Aurora. It wasn’t the greatest Aurora, but any aurora is a treat to witness. Here I managed to capture the slowly sinking moon, in the Waxing Crescent phase, before it disappeared beneath the horizon.

One piece of advice I’ll offer folks visiting Alaska to see/photograph the aurora – don’t drive around Alaska at night with under a half a tank of gas. And remember to bring a warm sleeping bag and sleeping pad in your vehicle.

Cheers

Carl

Northern Lights photo

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
The aurora borealis (northern lights) light up the night sky and a reflection glows in Dead Dog Hill Lake in the Mentasta Mountains, boreal forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

The aurora borealis (northern lights) light up the night sky and a reflection glows in the lake in the Mentasta Mountains, boreal forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another northern lights photo. This one I tried my darndest to catch the reflection in the foreground, but the slight breeze thwarted my every effort.

I’m seriously considering buying the Nikon 24mm 1.4 lens, specifically for northern lights photos. The difference in shutter speed with that lens, versus using a 2.4mm lens, is enormous.

For example, this photo was taken at f.28 and a shutter speed of 25 seconds. That means after the exposure, is then need to let the camera effectively take another 25 second exposure for noise reduction .. meaning the total time elapsed is 50 seconds. That’s a lot of time to be not shooting. it also means, with that long exposure, the lights tend to wash out a little, and lose definition that comes with a faster shutter speed.

Conversely, if you happen to be suffering from Strep throat induced diarrhea, the longer exposure can work to your benefit; you’ll certainly not be in any rush for the camera to finish doing it’s business while you tend your own. Just say’n, cause trust me, it CAN happen! 🙂

On the other hand, a lens with max aperture of 1.4 is 2 whole stops faster .. (more…)

Aurora Borealis photo

Friday, October 15th, 2010
Aurora borealis, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Aurora borealis photo. Using my vehicle headlights to light up the foreground a little bit. Northern lights, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

An aurora borealis photo taken a few weeks ago.

I’ve never had the good fortune to shoot the aurora borealis on a well lit night; a clear night when the moon is full, or close to it, would be ideal. My luck always seem to run into a dark night, which makes for a great, great experience, but the photographs could benefit from some ambient light on the foreground.

So, in this particular instance, I turned on the lights of my van for a split second during the exposure.  It took me a couple of tries to get the balance right, and it’s far from ideal, but I kind of like this shot; taken along the Nabesna Road in mid-September. (more…)

A new day on the way.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Northern Lights over Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

 

Hey Folks,

I can’t overstate the import of what the world saw this past week. For the first time ever the people of the US elected an African American president, Barack Obama, and the value that such a moment carries is immeasurable. A bare 40 years have past since Bill Russell became the first African American head coach in the NBA. 10 years ago the world saw the first black CEO of a Fortune 500 company (how ironic is it that Franklin Raines became CEO of — wait for it — Fannie Mae!!!!) There are innumerable examples of things like this all highlighting the magnitude of this moment. But perhaps none more than this one; (more…)