I learned yesterday, from Minnesota Public Radio, that there was a good chance that northern lights could appear at night, so I searched for and I found an article (on the MPR website) in which the author recommended photographing across a lake from a south shore. And since our cabin is on the south shore of our lake, I decided to see what I could do with the opportunity.
I stayed up until 1 am, checking out the sky every half-hour or so and, though the sky was a little hazy for the lower 10° or so above the horizon, overhead it was mostly clear, with many stars visible—but, as yet, there was no sign of any aurora activity. A subtle glow from a distant town was lighting up the haze in the northwest, but there was nothing to the east of that. It was a lovely night, perfectly calm, and quite a bit warmer than it’s been for the past week or so. I stood there for a good while just absorbing it all.
I checked periodically through the night, and by about 4:30 the cloud cover had spread to the entire sky, so no stars were visible now—but a new light source was illuminating the light cloud cover in the north, and it must have been aurora light from behind and above. I experimented with camera settings and made two good exposures with slightly different compositions; this is my favorite. I shot it at ISO 4000, 30 seconds, and an aperture of 5.6. Happy September!