Finding Light Project | Night Light

I love getting out at night with my camera. For one, the kids are wrapped up warm in bed, and there is something about being out under a sky full of stars, alone or with a friend, sipping from my thermos of tea (or a nice drop of Tassie pinot). 

As there were around four auroras in August and early September, my friend Megs from Meghann Maguire Photography and I decided our Finding Light theme would be Night Light. Below is a collection of photos from those auroras with varying levels of moonlight at different locations.

I've included settings and things under each image so I won't rabbit on too much here. 

Aurora Australis Squeaking Point Tasmania 17 August 2017

Did quite a bit of noise reduction on this image, which was taken at ISO8000. I use my 20mm f1.8 lens for all my astro. My other settings were f2.8 and 5 seconds exposure. I used a high ISO so that I could reduce my shutter speed to capture detail in those fast dancing beams. 17 August 2017, Squeaking Point Tas.

A timelapse I made from the above aurora at Squeaking Point.

Aurora Milky Way Panorama Great Western Tiers 24 August 2017

Milky Way and aurora panorama made up of 9 images at ISO10,000, f2.8 6 sec. 24 August 2017, Great Western Tiers and Mother Cummings Tas.

Aurora Deloraine 31 August 2017

I caught this double arc aurora from my driveway at ISO1600, f2.8 5 sec. 31 August 2017, Deloraine Tas. The faint green of these arcs and the subsequent beams were visible to the naked eye.

Not a great image but I wanted to show this aurora from our lounge room window. ISO4000, f2.5 5 sec. 31st August 2017. Deloraine Tas.

Mount Roland 7 September 2017

Megs and I went out one Thursday night and this is as much colour as we were able to capture; the night sky lit by a 99% moon. The moon kept the ISO down at ISO1600, f3.2, 10 sec. 7 September 2017, Mount Roland Sheffield Tas.

Aurora Mount Roland Tasmania 8 September 2017

The following night we captured much more colour. This aurora was caused by an X class solar flare and she was a beauty. The clouds parted to reveal naked eye beams shooting up into the sky behind Mount Roland. 95% moon here ISO1600, f2.8, 3 seconds. It was important to keep the shutter speed down with this aurora as it was very fast moving. Loved seeing the green blobs above our heads, my 20mm only just got one in the frame here. 8th September 2017.

Aurora Mount Roland Sheffield Tasmania 8 September 2017

Beams beams beams! Same settings as above. At this point we were yelling up to the sky, scattering the geese and cows. This was the brightest aurora I have ever experienced, the colours clearly visible even with the near full moon. 

The show continued. This was one of the frames I used toward the end of my timelapse (see the timelapse below) and the shutter speed could have been reduced to maybe 1 second to freeze more of the detail. Same settings as above. 

Aurora Mount Roland Sheffield Tasmania 8 September 2017

1.56am and the aurora is having her last hurrah. Up until this point we were alone. It was just us, the aurora and the mountain. Then we were joined by two fellow photographers who reminded me that it's a very small world...you know who you are ;) 

This timelapse is a bit all over the place timing wise. I was depressing the shutter manually for the first two hours then figured out my interval timer for the last hour. That aside it's a record of the amazing aurora we experienced that night.

Don't forget to check out Megs' collection of Night Light images here. While I was in my driveway capturing the 31st August aurora, Megs was in Evandale. Different views of the same aurora.

Thanks for stopping by.


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