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The Green Sky

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
Like the words of John Lubbock above I have learned a lot during this one year. Choosing to buy the camera was one of my best decisions. Had I not, I know exactly what I would have done; I would have had more sleep. It has been nearly two weeks to my first experience of seeing and photographing the auroras and I have been lucky to witness it yet again. I was following the forecast and today the Kp Index was supposed to be 4. The auroras are visible from my place only when it is 4-5. I had planned with a couple of friends to go out and see the auroras. This time we had chosen a lake within the city. I seriously did not want to go again to a middle of nowhere, creepy deserted summer cottage.
Four of my friends reached there at around 11:00 pm and I joined them straight from work. Today I had gone to work carrying all my gears so that I didn’t miss the lights display. We stayed there for about an hour and all we could see was a faint whitish cloud. Although the website showed that the Kp index was 4.5 that was all we could see. My friends decided to go home to sleep but I decided to venture the dark alone for a while. Still hoping the northern lights will change its mind and dance for me. I wandered around for a while taking pictures of the faint arc that was visible.
We stayed there for about an hour and all we could see was a faint whitish cloud. Although the website showed that the Kp index was 4.5 that was all we could see. My friends decided to go home to sleep but I decided to venture the dark alone for a while. Still hoping the northern lights will change its mind and dance for me. I wandered around for a while taking pictures of the faint arc that was visible. After some time I decided to go to another beach nearby. When I reached there I found another guy and his girlfriend who were there with their camera. He was a Finnish guy and seemed like he had done his research. They said they would still wait an hour. So, I joined them and waited.
20 minutes later the sky starts to glow. The lights were here. My experience last time had given me a rough idea of what my settings should be. I focused at infinity, dialed in f5.6, iso to 1600 and took my first long exposure of 20 sec. I got the shot but as far of composition it still was not so appealing. Framing during nights is really difficult. I have seen people who go to location when its not dark, frame the shot and then wait but I had no such privilege since I had to go to work. This time I tried including a little of the foreground and the picture looked good. The trees and grass in the foreground were still dark so I decided to paint it with my flash light. One more shot and there I had my picture. I also asked my friends of the dark to model for me. Tonight’s show was exceptional. I hope I get to see more of these in the days to come.
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