We get a glimpse of “Green Clouds” in this surprise photo of the Northern Lights.



On the last night of my vacation I checked the sky to see if it was a good night for star shots. It looked good, so I dragged my daughter out to try some light painting.
It was a very windy night and the water was rough enough that I was worried about my camera getting splashed or going in the drink. I was also trying to get a focused shot in the dark of the lighthouse with my daughter dancing in front with EL wire.



EL Wire is like a rope made of light.





Well, it was too dark to risk her tripping on a rock and braking a limb, so I set the camera up on a tripod and had her take the photos.




She would yell “start” and I would dance around like an idiot with the EL wire spinning around. It was hard to hear with the wind, and I was mostly concerned with the safety of my kid and the camera. In that order. The drop off in front of the lighthouse is a shear drop, that is used for scuba diving. so drowning or losing the camera I saved up for for 3 years for, was foremost on my mind…
We managed to get a few interesting shots.




We tried different colors of wire, and we did a few orb photos with single LEDs on a string.




After about an hour the kid yelled over the wind “Dad, have you noticed that?” and pointed past the lighthouse.


Green Clouds


That was when I saw that we had been missing one of the best shows put on that year. This was the first time either of us had ever seen the northern lights, and we had barley noticed it happening over our heads… Opps!

I managed to get one interesting shot, that had an element of fortuitousness.



(Straight Out Of Camera)


Green Clouds



Nikon D810
Rokinon 14mm F/2.8
1600 ISO




Green Clouds

  • Highlights raised
  • Shadows, whites and blacks lowered
  • Clarity, saturation and vibrance raised
  • Lens Corrections



Well that isn’t bad but it is missing something. I drug it into Photoshop and tried to add more northern light, but I couldn’t make it look as good as the real thing, so I did the next best thing…
I stole a plane out of another shot to make it more interesting.




Green Clouds

I synced the settings from the photo with this one we made of an orb, which also had a great plane streak in it.


You can tell how windy it was that night by zooming into the plane…
Unless the pilot had drank WAY too much coffee my camera wasn’t that still.



Green Clouds

This is the final output after “injecting” the plane into orbit.


This was a fun shoot, and it will always remind me of that vacation with my daughter when she was still young enough to drag outside in the dead of night to dance around like a couple of teenagers on extacy.