Autumn Aurora Over Mt. Katahdin
This is one of those shots that I’ve been dreaming about getting and I was lucky enough to have it all come together on Wednesday night! Matt Milone of Nightmute Photography and myself spent a few days exploring areas in and around Baxter State Park in Maine, and what a way to wrap up the trip with an amazing display of the Northern Lights! The autumn colors are finally starting to come along, and we were lucky that there was some good color along the river here, we got a break in the wind to get some nice reflections, and the sky cleared out just in time for a good flare up of the aurora. Sometimes nature brings it all together!
Due to the limitations of human vision in low light we couldn’t see the aurora like this with our eyes, but we could see bright areas without color, and occasionally we could see bright spikes, and for a few minutes the sky shimmered and that was amazing! The camera has no such color limitations in the dark and long exposures bring out all the detail and color.
Nikon D810A, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. This is a blend of 3 exposures, one for the sky at ISO 12,800, 6 seconds, f/2.8. One of the foreground exposures was at f/2.8, ISO 1600, for 15 minutes, and another was at f/4, ISO 1600, for 20 minutes. These foreground exposures were used to get detail in the trees and mountain. The aurora was moving so fast that I had to use a relatively quick shutter speed for the sky, 6 seconds was about as much as I could do without blurring the aurora too much and losing detail in the spikes and curtains.