First Aurora images of 2011…

FINALLY, some Aurora activity in my area!

Clear skies, not much of a moon, warm weather and a solar wind predicted to hit earth meant I had to head out last night.  The activity was very slow to come on, but was consistent for a few hours.  Earth got hit with a solar wind from a re-occuring coronal hole on the sun.  The first shock-wave hit about 7:30pm my time.  It ended up initiating a “Storm” condition for a little while, then it leveled of with a steady stream till about 4:30am.  Here’s what I got!

This was the first shot if the night.  It looks like an Aurora Rainbow!

Aurora Rainbow

I quickly moved on to a small bit if pasture land to get some trees in the shot.  Ursa Major(Big Dipper) too!

 I then headed to Jackfish Lake, NE of Athabasca, Alberta

Nobody driving cars on the lake yet, but as you can see the Snowmobiles have been here.

A tiny bit of cloud floated by.

There was a big dog that was freaking out on me here.  I never did see it, but I sure heard it!

Nice grain bins and a few old sheds.

I left the lake and headed towards home.  Here I stopped on a road adjacent to the main highway and got a Semi truck flying by.

OK, things usually get a little weird when I photograph at night.  All of a sudden the nice calm Aurora ellipse turns into something that looks like an alien language.  I have never seen it do this before!

I think it says hello!

After getting the above message I went looking for some trees.

There happened to be a huge stash of hay in this field, so of course I had to take a picture of it!

This was the road view.

Well that’s all folks!

The rest of the images from this night can be seen here

Let me know what you think!


admin - Hey Sherry,

Well the dead of summer is not a great time. There is too much sunlight. In fact if you go far north, the sun never goes below the horizon during the summer. That being said, spring and fall can be a great time of year!
As far as location goes… basically the further north (60th parallel) you go to odds of seeing aurora increase. The activity on the sun also plays a important role. If you want to see violent aurora activity, it will have to coincide with something like a CME event on the sun. The normal aurora activity happens very often from the solar wind our planet encounters very frequently though.

Yes, I do sell my images. If you enter my Gallery, prints can be purchased directly from there. I offer many different options with regards to printing/framing/displaying my images. Please let me know if you would like to learn more.

Sherry - Thanks-some day I plan to. If only the best aurora viewing times were in the dead of summer! Two questions for you if I may: 1. Best aurora spotting location? I’ve heard of places at least in Alaska where you can turn your aurora viewing urge into a nice little vacation (albeit cold). Are there any in your neck of the woods? Do you sell prints of your photos to the general public (me)? I’ve made you a favorite so I can stop in and gaze for awhile to get my aurora fix.

admin - Thanks for the kind words Sherry! Yes, you have to see this show with your own eyes at lease once in your life!

Sherry - Wow. Double-wow. I envy you your talent, your eye for the perfect shot. I don’t envy you the COLD temps you deal with, but I think I’d trade warm weather (for a while) for a chance to experience all the aurorae that you have captured! Thank you for allowing me to see (and drool over) your exceptional photography.

admin - Thanks for the comment Brian! I frequently shoot wide open on many of my nightscape shots. With very wide glass (12mm-14mm and fisheye) the DOF is very large when focused at infinity even at f2.8. The ground is usually dark too:).

Bryan Flaman - Very nice winter night photographs along with your aurora shots. I have been fortunate to capture this phenomenon a couple of times though not with you flair. Thank you for sharing your photographs for inspiration. I was surprised to see your night shots at large apatures, normally landscapes are done around 16 or smaller. Your’s at 4.5 and 5 are very clear throuout, I will haveto give it a try.
Thank you, Bryan

John Nexim - What a fantastic display. You are a very talented photographer! Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing your images with the world!

Olivier Du Tré - Amazing Zoltan!
I’ve been following your website for a while now. And I was out last night as well. I was north of Olds, AB. Nothing but clouds. 🙁

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