Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Northern Lights in Kelowna

Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Photography by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca showing green and purple glow of the lights in the night sky outside of Kelowna British Columbia Canada from Bear Creek Campground. Copyrighted 2014 Chris Gardiner
Zoomed in on some spikes of Northern Lights || copyright Chris Gardiner 2014


The Northern lights are always a treat.  We had just finished putting out our campfire and head home when I noticed them.  It doesn't always look like northern lights at first.  In fact, my camera can see them better than I can with the appropriate settings.  I didn't even believe that it was them until I took my first photo, with the trademark glowing green for auroral activity confirmation.



I went into a flurry of frame-grabbing immediately. Luckily, I already had a tripod nearby, and only had to lock down my manual exposure and focus.  I managed to nail it first shot or two, at ISO 6400, f/4 and 15 second exposures.  Each value was chosen for a reason, and it just so happens in this rare case, those values were exactly what I needed.

Prints from the Images of the Northern Lights from Bear Creek on Lake Okanagan are available for purchase upon request.

Here is why I use those values:

ISO 6400 ; this is largely camera dependant value. I was on my 6D. After having a few months with this body, I have come to fully appreciate its noise handling.  6400 on this 6D is similar in appearance to ISO800 on my XTi, only I have twice as many pixels so its even easier to correct.

f/4 ; this value is largely lens dependant. I was on my 24-105 f/4 L.  shoot wide open.  the northern lights and all the stars are always focus at infinity as far as DSLRs are concerned.

15s ; I used 15 second exposures because it's a good amount of time to keep a sharp spike, keep sharp stars, and still allow a decent amount of light in from ambient.

Good luck shooting the northern lights!


Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Photography by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca showing green and purple glow of the lights in the night sky outside of Kelowna British Columbia Canada from Bear Creek Campground. Copyrighted 2014 Chris Gardiner
Vertical Composition showing the Northern Lights from Bear Creek Campground || copyright Chris Gardiner 2014

Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Photography by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca showing green and purple glow of the lights in the night sky outside of Kelowna British Columbia Canada from Bear Creek Campground. Copyrighted 2014 Chris Gardiner
Horizontal Composition showing the Northern Lights from Bear Creek Campground || copyright Chris Gardiner 2014

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