About 12 km out of Rovaniemi I was far enough from the ambient lights of the town when I started to see it, that sort of shimmering in the sky ahead. Faint at first, but the further away from Rovaniemi I got the stronger the aurora got. But my hands at this point were painfully cold and even tough Sinetta was only another 10 km further on, I was afraid that if I kept going that they would disappear. Aurora are very unpredictable, they can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, and I couldn't let this one slip away like that. Besides, my hands were begging me to stop, so I pulled over to a car parking area right on the side of the road. First order of business was get the tripod set up and a camera on top of it, take a few test shots, figure out what I needed my settings to be and lo and behold I was looking at my first capture of aurora borealis.
This particular display had been already going on for an hour or so I guess before I got there, and continued on for about another forty minutes before it started to dim. That was about it for me. By that time I and my hands were freezing cold. I have a hard time shooting and adjusting the settings on my camera with gloves on. The camera adjustment levers, buttons and dials are not really made for gloved fingers. So my bare hands, exposed to -17° air temperatures and playing with a freezing cold camera body had had enough. And I knew I had a 20 minute ride back without handlebar muffs so I figured I'd call it a night and quit while I still didn't have frostbite.
I was cold but happy that I finally got to see my very own Northern Lights.
I shot all of the images on a Nikon D3s with a 14-24 2.8 lens.
All the images were 2.5 second exposures @ 2.8, focal length was between 17-24mm. ISO on all shots was 1000.
Not much processing went into these shots in LR4, just some sharpening and noise reduction.
Any images you see here can be purchased as High Resolution prints.
Until my SmugMug account is up and running, just contact me for details and pricing at Wheresmurph@gmail.com
Meanwhile back at Karu MC here in Rovaniemi, just because it's -15° outside doesn't mean that life stops. Oh no. Life goes on. Stuff needs to get done. Bikes need to get worked on and finished for the spring and summer riding season fast approaching here in Finland.
The morning after my Aurora Borealis encounter Jari was out sanding down the frame of his chopper to be repainted. This year it's going to be black instead of red. Powerplant is an '80's Evo motor.
Pepe decided to take out his Ice Speedway bike for a spin around the ice this particular morning too. A 500cc Jawa engined death machine if you get caught under the wheels. It'll slice off an arm in no time.
More on the shoot in next weeks post.
In other news I also received a special delivery from Andy Lilienthal at WARN in the U.S., a new WARN XT17 Portable Motorcycle Winch. Since I sometimes get into situations that calling AAA or calling anybody really is just not possible, I had been thinking about installing a winch for quite some time now, and the WARN Portable Winch is really the smallest, lightest and best product out there for any serious adventure motorcyclist. I will have a complete review of the installation procedure in the next post.
That's it for this week, I hope that you all enjoy this Sunday morning post and please leave me a comment if you have the time.
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