In Search of Northern Lights – The First Night

Duke Johnson

The first night on the heels of my travel was tiring but exhilarating (and did I mention, cold?). After the initial burst of aurora, the cloud deck assured me of some sleep as there was nothing else to do.

Desert Skies

So, I put on an extra layer, leaned the seat back further and slept in the car on the lake.

I awoke to a very cold face as the outside temperature had plunged to -20 F and a blazing aurora right in front of the car on the western sky. I scrambled to get my gear out and running again. That took a little doing as I was running the “camera stacker” I had built just for this trip. It allows me to place one camera directly above (or beside) the other and be shooting in just a few moments. This shot may be one of the best of the trip as there was a lot of definition to the movements in the curtain. It is two vertical images taken at exactly the same time from two cameras. The two images were then stitched together. This is the only image from that run I’ve taken the time to work on at all, but I have a number of horizontal panoramas from that time as well that I’ll share later.

After that run of about 2 hours, it was time to get more sleep. I found I could get about an hour before I just got too cold on my face to sleep. After the sun had been up for several hours, I drove into town to get our room.

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