Monday, May 13, 2024

Aurora followup

That took a couple days to fully recover from. Not just the evening of actually photographing the aurora, and not getting to bed till 3am, but getting all 2956 images ingested into the computer and then looking at them. All of them.

So first, that many images were spread over 2 days, and 2 SD cards and took up about 100 GB of data. My computer's internal hard drive typically doesn't have that much room on it, and then there's the previews Lightroom builds. So I ended up loading it directly onto the external hard drive, which isn't as fast. 

Yes, I'm seriously thinking about upgrading my computer. This photo computer was manufactured late 2016, and I think I bought it early 2017. So it's on the order of 7 years old, which in computer terms is pretty decrepit. I digress.

Let's start with what I was hoping for. I was on the south side of Glenmore Reservoir, looking north, thinking that's where the show would be. Any luck I'd get a nice curtain of light, and it would get reflected in the calm water, with the lights of downtown off to one side. I was quite prepared to experiment with exposure if necessary to get the water flat. This is as close as I got to that, and this actually was taken after the main show, shortly before I packed up.

For lots of people, this would be pretty good, mainly because they don't get to see the aurora very often. Except my previous high water mark was that night at the Eagle Plains truck stop, just south of the Arctic Circle. The whole sky was ribbons and curtains of green shifting and waving back and forth. A 14mm lens was not nearly wide enough. (more here, if you missed it.)

The other difference is the Yukon show was gobsmacking in your face. Some people were sitting back or lying down, just watching. Viewers for the Calgary show last weekend saw very little with their eyes. I'm not sure why.

One of the rules in photography is to periodically look behind you. Two main reasons. One is that no matter how good the show is in front of you, it might be better behind. (And it has been on several occasions that come to mind right away.) Two is that something, or someone might be sneaking up on you. So far this hasn't happened to me, but I hear horror stories from other photographers. It's not just hungry predators with teeth and claws, some dangers walk on two legs. I looked behind me, and instantly turned the camera around. Most of the people nearby saw me do this, and turned around as well. That was about midnight, and it started a sequence of 1900 or so photos that I assembled into a time lapse.

Here's one of the photos that I picked out to post. There are lots, and lots of amazing single images. I'm not even convinced this one is the "best". After you watch the video, is there any appetite for me going through and pulling out the 10 "best" and publishing those? I can assure you, some look quite different than others.

And here's the movie, in case you missed it, or are discovering the blog somehow.

Yes, I thought about setting up a film camera and seeing how that turned out, but decided against it. The color film isn't particularly good at really long exposures, and I forgot I had some Cinestill 800T, which might have been good. But then I'd be babysitting the film camera, and doing just digital kept me occupied.

I'm glad I went out. It was well worth the late night. I thought about going out the next two nights, but didn't.

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)


Film (new)

Michelle X2

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