So after a long day that started with a 2.15am rise to make sunrise, the last thing I needed to see was a tweet at 10.30pm saying the Aurora was on!
Yep the Aurora was at Kp 7 meaning a good chance of seeing it in Northern England and the weather forecast was for clear skies!
But wait I have no idea how to film the Aurora, I'm tired ah bugger let's go for it! So off I went in the hope of catching the Northern Lights! My plan was to go to Dunstanburgh Castle and if that was no good the causeway at Holy Island!
Once I arrived at Dunstanburgh I knew it was a bad idea! Getting out of the car in the middle of the night, it's dark and I'm starting to see imaginary beasts and hear wierd noises!
As I left the car I noticed two other cars, ah ha maybe more Aurora hunters, safety in numbers. Now those of you who know Dunstanburgh Castle will realise you need to walk across the links golf course - easy enough in the day time but not for me at night! Just like a bad golfer I was into the rough after the tee box! And how deep is the rough!
So I finally got back onto the fair way and walked a tad further before realising I had nothing to focus on! I tried a golf flag - good job they left them out but it still wasn't working! I could also see a person on the beach - well their head torch! So that started freaking me out as we both shown our head torches in eachs others directions from distance! I decided to head towards the castle but after finding myself in more deep rough I couldn't take it any more and decided Bamburgh Castle and beach is much more friendly for a big chicken like me!
At this point I thought I could see the Aurora but as I've never seen it before and I'm colour blind - green is not a good colour to find! So when I left I could see from the car a canny light show! At this point you want to check out Paul Appleby's image and guess where he was.. yep at Dunstanburgh Castle!
So once at Bamburgh I noted that I should use my 35mm f1.8 prime lens as opposed to the Sigma 10-20mm f4.0-5.6! Unfortunately the Nikon 35mm AF-S f1.8 lens does not have a focus scale on! Feckers at Nikon!
So like an arse the fecking aurora is dancing in the sky and I'm running around like a tit trying to find something to focus the camera on! So apologies my images are not razor sharp but I'm hoping that as an aurora light chaser you'll forgive me this time!
Hey guess what I found today on my i-phone - yes an app I had downloaded to calculate the hyperfocal distance! Aye it turns out I had to focus on something 114 feet from me to get a sharp focus to infinity! Feckers!
Well I've decided to post three images from last night - one is a single image of the aurora from Bamburgh, another is a two image pano from Bamburgh and the last one is maybe where I should have gone Budle Bay a 4 image pano as I finally managed to find a speed limit sign to focus on! Just when the aurora went to bed!
So I got back home for around 3.30am this morning - which was quite ironic as I'd been out the morning before for sunrise at Whitburn at 3.30am!
As I say I wouldn't normally post an out of focus image but after driving around all night I wanted to!
PS any advice on how to process aurora images in Photoshop Elements 9 would be greatly appreciated I felt I've struggled to balance the colours but as I'm colour blind that could explain alot! ;o)
Camera Nikon D80
Lens Nikon 35mm f1.8
Focal Length 35 mm
ISO Speed 400
Cable Shutter Release
Slik Pro 400XD Tripod
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