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carpe caelum | leland, michigan

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Thank you for stopping by. You can find more of my Milky Way photos here and more of my Northern Lights photos here.


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You know, I've been sitting on this series since early August. Why? Well, I wasn't sure how to process these photos because, well, I don't do a lot of star photography and I've never had the fortune of having the Northern Lights in one of my shots, especially not in such vivid colors. But how am I ever going to get better at processing these if I don't upload them and solicit your opinion? So, feel free to share, especially if you have a preferred method of handling the aurora part of the shot. I may go back and reprocess this some time down the road when I'm better at these kinds of shots, but for now let's go with this one. Thanks in advance to anyone who feels compelled to put in their two cents.


A little background: on the evening that I shot this (and also this shot), I didn't realize that what looked like a fog bank off to the northwest over the lake was actually the Northern Lights. They were really faint and looked almost white. In retrospect I should have probably figured out that a fog bank would never appear so white and bright from such a distance, but I sure did think it was fog :) Anyway, when I saw what i thought was fog coming in, I figured I'd better start shooting the Milky Way before we were under cloud cover. I took a few southerly shots of the Milky Way and then turned to catch the north-facing view. I set my first exposure for 15 seconds and when I checked the camera back for the histogram I noticed the violet and green streaks on the bottom. I knew immediately what it was looking at, but still couldn't quite believe it. A few moments later it fully sunk in and it is alleged by my girlfriend and cousins, who were out there making smores, that I might have dropped an F-bomb and done a little happy dance. All alleged, mind you :)


I hope your day is going well!



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Taken on August 4, 2013