Thursday, October 31, 2019
The other morning I brought a few friends up to this waterfall on the Pigeon River. It was actually only my second time visiting this location this year. Sometimes I come here often, other times not so much. I had actually been up the road to this spot quite a few times this year, but I was always focused on biking so I'd ride my bike in then turn around and ride right back out. It was good to actually walk down to the waterfall once again as the last time I had done that was back in June.
We had some nice cloud movement so I decided to take a "standard" exposure which stopped the motion of the water, then I took a second exposure which was 15 seconds long. The long exposure smoothed out the look of the water and also caught the movement of the clouds. I've often heard these types of photos referred to as "fake". Well, just because the camera is recording something that we cannot see with our eyes doesn't make it "fake". It makes it more of an artistic rendition of a scene. I like both photos, but my preference definitely leans more towards the long exposure version.
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Dark, clear and cold. Those are the 3 things I remember about the night last week when I made this photo. That and how incredibly vivid the stars looked. Perseus and Andromeda dominated the sky over this beautiful stand of maple trees.
Saturday, October 26, 2019
This is hands-down my favorite picture I've taken of the Jeep so far. I was out until about 3:00 AM exploring new roads and looking for places to photograph the Milky Way. The night was beautiful beyond belief. It's really cool when the stars are so bright they illuminate the landscape enough that you don't need a flashlight to walk around.
The other day someone asked me if I was born at night. I wasn't (I was born around 10:30 AM), but it made me stop and think... that would make sense if I was born at night, because I am such a night owl. Being out in the woods at night is where I feel most at home. I never (well, rarely) feel uneasy when I'm outside at night. I feel like the star light gives me energy. When I'm out spending time under the stars I feel so refreshed and rejuvenated. It's where I always long to be.
Yesterday afternoon space weather forecasters were saying that the solar wind stream was still hitting Earth and that high latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Since I had such a rewarding experience the night before, I decided to head out again. The lights made another appearance but not as brightly as the previous night.
For several hours I gazed at the sky in an area where I had never been at night before. I made a few photographs here and there, but never really saw any northern lights. After a while I drove around for a bit and soon noticed that distinct glow in the sky. I went back to where I had been earlier in the night and photographed this soft green glow behind the clouds and pines.
Friday, October 25, 2019
The northern lights may not have been super active last night but they were still just as beautiful as always. About 1:30 AM it was almost time to call it quits for the night as thick cloud cover was rapidly moving in. Just before I started to head for home, though, I stopped to make this photograph over a frosty meadow. The way the aurora was lighting up the frost and the hood of my Jeep really caught my eye.
Superior National Forest - Cook County, MN. Last night the northern lights made a small appearance in northeast Minnesota. The forecast was calling for mild geomagnetic storms and that's exactly what we got. I made this photo at 10:02 PM just as some faint pillars were beginning to show up. The pillars were barely visible to the naked eye, but a 30 second exposure made them look more noticeable.
For the remainder of the night (well... at least until the clouds moved in around 1:30), there was a soft green glow on the northern horizon but no more pillars. It also was the first night that got rather chilly. The air temp was 19 degrees as I was sitting in this location watching the lights slowly weave their way across the northern sky.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Had a super awesome time presenting my night sky photography to a group of almost 60 people at the end of the Gunflint Trail today! A nice mix of folks that was about 1/3 local residents and 2/3 visitors from out of town. Thanks to my friend, colleague and collaborator Joel Halvorson, and all the staff at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. Today wouldn't have happened without all of your help. People really dug what Joel and I had to share. Looking forward to more presentations like this in the future!