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Archive 2012 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.
  
 
Josh S
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p.1 #1 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


The main impetus for making this thread is to be pointed in the right direction of using my 5D II for this sort of long exposure photography. I don't have much experience with shooting aurora, or the 5D II.

One issue I am having is that a 30 second exposure, for example, seems to take close to 30 seconds to process and write to the card. Is there a feature turned on, or off, that is causing this?

Another challenge is color calibration. I think I may be able to work through this one, but with dynamic and unusual lighting sources it is not always easy to pin down the range.




On to the aurora! This stuff is wonderful, and though transient, it's a joy to be under.

1.






2.






3.









Feb 15, 2012 at 09:10 AM
anthonyrae
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p.1 #2 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


great photos - where abouts were these taken? would love to go and see this one day...


Feb 15, 2012 at 09:19 AM
Josh S
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p.1 #3 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


anthonyrae wrote:
great photos - where abouts were these taken? would love to go and see this one day...


Thanks. I should have noted that these were taken tonight near Fairbanks, Alaska.




Feb 15, 2012 at 09:21 AM
jhg photo
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p.1 #4 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


Great pictures!
the feature you are looking for is "long exposure noise reduction". It takes a dark frame of the same length as your exposure to subtract noise. I would recommend to use it, but it can be switched off.
You might also open the aperture some more to either shorten the exposure or even better to reduce the ISO by a stop or two.



Feb 15, 2012 at 09:48 AM
AnDDDre
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p.1 #5 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


These looks good!
Turn of the long exposure noise reduction as jhg photo stated. You can take one dark frame after photographing the auroras and use Photoshop to reduce noise. This is commonly used in astrophotography.
The northern lights tend to move fast, so you need to have faster shutter speed to catch the shape without turning everything to green clouds. I have tried to use Samyang 14mm f2.8 wide open, focused to infinity. I haven't had any luck this year and northern lights haven't been strong enough.

PS. Use RAW and adjust the colors in post process.



Feb 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM
David Leask
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p.1 #6 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


I can't help with the tips Josh but these sure are fine shots.
I'm envious!
David



Feb 15, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Bjadelberg
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p.1 #7 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


Loving the first one!


Feb 15, 2012 at 07:28 PM
thedutt
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p.1 #8 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


great shots! Thxs for sharing


Feb 15, 2012 at 07:42 PM
 

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alatoo60
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p.1 #9 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


What a beauty, #2 is my favorite. Seems like you could get away with a shorter exposure.


Feb 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM
denovo2k1
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p.1 #10 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


Use the tungsten filter setting and shoot it wide-open to try and get a 4 to 15sec exposure. If you turn off the long exposure NR you will be fine, cause at <30sec there won't be hardly any hot pixels anyways or hot corners like in >5min exposures.
Good luck, wish we had them here alot like Fairbanks!



Feb 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Josh S
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p.1 #11 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


jhg photo wrote:
Great pictures!
the feature you are looking for is "long exposure noise reduction". It takes a dark frame of the same length as your exposure to subtract noise. I would recommend to use it, but it can be switched off.
You might also open the aperture some more to either shorten the exposure or even better to reduce the ISO by a stop or two.


Thanks for the advice! I will look for that noise reduction feature.

As for the other camera settings: I have experimented a little bit with different exposure times, aperture etc. With these frames I wanted to be sure that I had the foreground trees in focus. Focusing in the dark and cold isn't so easy!




Feb 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Josh S
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p.1 #12 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


AnDDDre wrote:
These looks good!
Turn of the long exposure noise reduction as jhg photo stated. You can take one dark frame after photographing the auroras and use Photoshop to reduce noise. This is commonly used in astrophotography.
The northern lights tend to move fast, so you need to have faster shutter speed to catch the shape without turning everything to green clouds. I have tried to use Samyang 14mm f2.8 wide open, focused to infinity. I haven't had any luck this year and northern lights haven't been strong enough.

PS. Use RAW and adjust the colors in post process.



Thank you for your input.

You're right that sometimes the lights move quickly. It's fun to try and find a balance between capturing a quick moment in the sky and capturing a more drawn out one.

14mm would be handy... Here I used the 17-40mm and would love to have been able to go wider, maybe even fisheye to cover more of the sky.



Feb 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Josh S
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p.1 #13 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


Thanks again everyone. Hopefully we'll have another good show up here before long.


Feb 15, 2012 at 11:42 PM
angel manguel
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p.1 #14 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


Ah, man these are awesome, incredible photos. I had hoped to see the aurora while in the Canadian Arctic recently but only saw a very faint one our last night and it was not worth chasing. It seems Alaska is ideally situated for excellent displays of aurora if I am not mistaken. Next year is predicted to be a banner year! Well done. Love them all.

Alan



Feb 16, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Josh S
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p.1 #15 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


baby tooth wrote:
Ah, man these are awesome, incredible photos. I had hoped to see the aurora while in the Canadian Arctic recently but only saw a very faint one our last night and it was not worth chasing. It seems Alaska is ideally situated for excellent displays of aurora if I am not mistaken. Next year is predicted to be a banner year! Well done. Love them all.

Alan


It is really hit or miss with this stuff. Sometimes I'll go a couple of weeks without seeing anything too dramatic, and then all of a sudden...

Alaska is in a pretty good place, but even within the state it depends where you are, and where the aurora happens to be active. Cool maps can be found at:

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast


I've seen the aurora fairly far south, and I believe that in late January people were seeing it way down in states like Arkansas! Now, it wasn't directly overhead, as it often is in Fairbanks, but unusually active solar flares made for a few days of spectacular aurora in lots of places.



Feb 16, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Scott Kroeker
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p.1 #16 · A touch of Aurora Borealis.


Nice lines and colour in that first one! Havent had luck with aurora here yet.


Feb 16, 2012 at 06:23 AM





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