Aurora Australis

Discussion in 'Nature' started by iGonzoid, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Aurora Australis from Bellerive Beach, Hobart, Tasmania, 7.45pm, 1st June 2013. Green flicker in the middle was visible to the naked eye. Photo © Giles Hugo 2013. Olympus OM-D; Panasonic Lumix f2.5 14mm lens; @ f2.5, 8s, ISO 400.

  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Great shot! There's been a ton of Aurora Australis shots about from my Hobart photog friends this last year, it's been a great time for it!
  3. aragorn1980

    aragorn1980 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 10, 2012
    Athens Greece
    I really like the green color in this shot!Well done!
  4. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    The OM-D doesnt have a WB setting for auroras. Tut tut!
  5. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
  6. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Beautiful. Any color enhancement or is that right out of the camera?
  7. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks. I use the 4x3 RAW file, tweeked in Camera RAW then "developed" in Photoshop — cropped to 16-9, Levels, Curves, tiny bit of Vibrance, Hue and Saturation [not more than 15/20% in any hue], Brightness and Contrast, and occasionally Exposure [but that is usually handled by a bit of bracketing at the time of shooting]. I seldom mask, retouch bits or treat any particular area of a frame differently from the whole. What you see is what you get, with a degree of enhancement. The key to auroras [this was my second shoot and the first to yield an image, first time was too cloudy and hazy] is initial exposure — anything from 10-50 sec, depending on f stop. I go low ISO [200] for colour fidelity. The P 14mm at f2.5 is fast enough for shortish exposures but I like to crank it up over f2.8 or f4 for DoF from the visible beach to the horizon. Strong tripod, stand close to the camera during exposure as a wind shield. Delay of 10 sec on the shutter to minimize shake. No IBIS. Clouds are the worst enemy — sea/river foreground is great for reflections but coastal weather tends to vary enormously. Lot of luck on the night. I belong to an aurora group here in Tasmania and they operate an alert watch for us on FaceBook. We are at the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle that produces auroras so there is much activity. Nick, there are people all over Tassie getting pix. Try some high hill looking south — clear night you might get it. Maybe the f0.95 Noktons would give you very short exposures. The 17.5mm would be ideal.
  8. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    You rarely get to see the sky as bright as the photos make it seem. On the night of my 40th birthday ['89] there was the biggest aurora I have ever seen — right up to the zenith, light curtains, waves, spokes of the wheel, flashing....!!! And as bright as you see here. I think in the intervening years haze and light polution has dimmed things greatly. The further south you go, the better. Try Patagonia, perhaps.
  9. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Much longer exposure, compared with first pic, gives much more colour, especially the red, but blurs and burns out the city lights. Interesting wave action in the foreground, given the longer exposure. Pix were shot within about one hour on the beach.

  10. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Explanation of the colours:
    "Different gases give off different colors when they are excited by particles from the sun. Oxygen at about 60 miles up gives off the familiar yellow-green color, Oxygen at higher altitudes (about 200 miles above us) gives the all red auroras. Ionic Nitrogen produces the blue light and neutral Nitrogen gives off the red-purple and the rippled edges.'
  11. aldus

    aldus Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 24, 2012
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Dennis Moser
    We're getting some crazy solar weather, but since we're heading into serious summer up here in Fairbanks, AK, we've got 24 hours of aurora up here. Folks in the lower 48 and Canada are seeing them, but it's always great to the see the Aurora australis, too!