Muh muh muh, myyyyyy Corona – Aurora borealis

February 17th, 2014 by Carl D
Corona of the aurora borealis, Alaska
The aurora borealis corona, or Coronal Aurora borealis – directly overhead, photographed with a 50mm f1.4 lens. ISO 2000, aperture 1.4, s/s 1/3 sec. Click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

“Oooh, my little pretty one, pretty one,
When ya gunna give me some,
My Corona”

Hey Folks,

What a cool tune, eh?

This image of the aurora borealis corona was taken last March on one of the aurora borealis tours. Here’s to hoping we get a night like this one again. Absolutely incredible evening, and it went on and on and on and on …. all night long. I think we got home at something like 9am this morning. I remember we nearly missed breakfast at the hotel because they were closing it up when we rocked into town.

The most difficult part of shooting the image was, after quickly swapping lenses from my 24mm to my 50mm, trying to point the camera directly overhead. I ended up lying on the ground, tripod legs splayed wide, the ballhead rotated as much as I could swing it, and finally managed to get the lens steady and focused. Before I knew it, the corona had moved again and I had to reconfigure myself, my tripod and my camera to shoot again. I managed maybe 3 or 4 images before it was gone.

For photographers, you might notice the specs of the shot. My shutter speed was 1/3 second, and I wish I’d been faster than that to freeze the auroral corona activity further. That’s how dramatic this aurora borealis display was. Something like 1/100th would’ve been nice, but I’d have had to really juice the ISO to do that. Photography is always a compromise, and when you’re lying on your back in the snow and ice at minus 20deg F, it’s too tempting to choose the ‘what’s the easiest’, rather than ‘what will work the best here’ solution.

If we’re really lucky, we’ll get another shot at this kind of thing over the next 2 months. I’m super looking forward to some great aurora borealis photos.

“Come a little closer huh,
uh will ya huh.
Close enough to look in my eyes, Corona.”



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