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Capturing an Aurora in the South!

What seemed impossible became possible!

By Nagoh Creative (Greg)Published 25 days ago 3 min read
Aurora from Georgia (Image by Nagoh Creative / Author)

I have been a photographer for over 20+ years and an astrophotographer for about 11 years. One of the most incredible events to capture on camera is the Aurora Borealis light show from the heavens. I live so far south in the USA, that it is just an impossible sight and truly just out of reach, until now. I am in the loop regarding solar activity, enough of my news feeds keep me informed, but when it comes to an aurora it's now just white noise because that will never happen here where I am.

24 hours before this rare event in our skies, I had commented on another photographer's picture about how desperately I would love to witness this, and silently in my heart, I prayed to God, Lord one day grant me the ability to travel and witness this amazing event that only you can create.

To some, this may seem like a trivial request in the grand scheme of things. But to me making the prayer it has been a strong desire to capture this event. Auroas are unheard of this far south! The idea that this happened and was visible in my town with light pollution galore was truly a miracle. And God, in His infinite wisdom and love, delights in fulfilling the desires of our hearts — no matter how seemingly insignificant they may be. I am thankful my God is like that. I am not trying to push Christian beliefs on anyone reading this, I am just sharing my heart and the thanks I have for the one I find my peace in.

So let’s talk some technical specs on how I was able to capture this. Surprisingly my iPhone did a pretty good job with getting the general colors of the sky, but it was unable to pick up the ribbon patterns, which is what I was really looking for. This would require a DSLR camera. The ability to set a long open, shutter allows for more light to pour in and leave an imprint on the sensor. Anytime you’re doing night photography the longer you can leave your shutter open the better however you have to take into account star trails as the Earth rotates. If you were using a super wide lens, you have the advantage of not needing to track because you can leave the shutter open longer as the star trails do not appear as noticeable.

It’s also important to set a two second timer so your finger is away from the button after you push it. This helps with stability. I like to use two seconds better than 10 seconds because it allows me to take more pictures faster. I can be pretty impatient when it comes to waiting for the next picture to take. However, it is incredibly important to be patient when taking images of anything.

Image by Nagoh Creative / Author

I took my images with a Canon 7D on a tripod using 30 second exposures at around a 1600 iso. This seemed to be the sweet spot for me. The lens I used was a fisheye. Perfect to capture as much sky as possible. I put together a timelapse of all the images from that evening, and what was wonderful about it was it showed the movement like ribbons in the sky. I am so thankful that I was able to get pictures of my own. I feel truly blessed thank you for letting me share them. I hope you found this helpful.

Author Note: Thanks for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing. My writing is a part of my healing process. I am a broken spirit, a fallen sinner, but I am a forgiven child of God. That is why I share my vulnerable heart with all.

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About the Creator

Nagoh Creative (Greg)

Writer, Poet, Astronomer, Photographer & Encourager. I am on a road of life recovery and sharing my journey with words and art. Most importantly, I am a forgiven Child of God, Husband, Father, & friend. All work is my own, & God's Glory.

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Comments (1)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran24 days ago

    Those photos are sooooo gorgeous! I'm so happy you shared them with us!

Nagoh Creative (Greg)Written by Nagoh Creative (Greg)

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