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Helen

A couple of Aurora pictures from South Wales - 7 Oct

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Here are a couple from our trip to Gelligaer Common

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no we don't have standing stones, but we do have convenient car park boundary stones :wink:

Helen

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Lovely pics - but Iin the "observing" section? :evil::grin:

:p  - are you mistaken sir??

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I knew I should have taken a screen grab... :evil::grin:

Anyway - looks a great location.. There were some pics from the top of the Rhigos on the Welsh weather with "Derek"...

The oval looked like it was going to loose strength and head North quite quickly so I didn't risk driving further North and Missing it all together... I also get a decent 4G signal at the windfarm so can keep an eye on how things are changing...

Peter...

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I had the merest hint of a suggest of pink

Nice one Helen

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I knew I should have taken a screen grab... :evil::grin:

Anyway - looks a great location.. There were some pics from the top of the Rhigos on the Welsh weather with "Derek"...

The oval looked like it was going to loose strength and head North quite quickly so I didn't risk driving further North and Missing it all together... I also get a decent 4G signal at the windfarm so can keep an eye on how things are changing...

Peter...

He hee :smile:

The location does have some challenges - close to Merthyr, Rhymney and the other Valley towns and quite a bit of passing traffic (but that did prove useful for illuminating the stones :wink: ).  It is also just 10 minutes from home.  (I wouldn't want to be there on my own though!!)

Helen

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Here are a couple from our trip to Gelligaer Common

attachicon.gifNorthern Lights 071015 (1 of 2).jpg

attachicon.gifNorthern Lights 071015 (2 of 2).jpg

no we don't have standing stones, but we do have convenient car park boundary stones :wink:

Helen

Oh my gosh wow!

How did you take these please? We are going to Norway next week to try and see them but have no idea how to take pictures like these!!!

Please help?

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I managed to capture some images - completely by accident! I was just setting up my camera to test out the repairs made to my SkyTracker, and whilst I was focusing and taking test shots the aurora was captured! Of course, by the time I had properly set everything up, it had died down! Typical! Nothing was seen with the naked eye though... too many streetlights! So, my pics are rubbish, but here is one to prove I captured something on 'film'!! 

post-24939-0-11969700-1444338823_thumb.j

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Norway is one of the best places in the world to see aurorae, and so you should have a fantastic time - we diid :smile:  My husband is the 'normal'  photographer and he suggests the following:

If you can find a good dark location with a decent (low) north horizon, then you're off to a good start.  Some foreground interest (old buildings, trees, lakes etc) can help make a good shot into a really great one, and so a daylight reconnaissance of potential sites can be helpful.  Still water is great for reflections.

Assuming that you have a DSLR, then use the widest angle lens that you have - especially as the aurora in Norway should hopefully be filling most of the sky!

You will need a tripod to take long exposures, ideally with a cable trigger release to minimise vibrations (or else use the self-timer function).  If your camera has a mirror lock-up function, then that can help as well.

It's best to switch to manual focus, at a hairs-breadth back from the max infinity setting, as this avoids the lens auto-focus mechanism continually trying (and usually failing) to find a target.

A high ISO (1600 or higher) should be fine, as noise ('grain') is not really a problem with Northern Lights shots.

As a starting point = keep the aperture as wide open as possible (this depends on your lens), and then have fun experimenting with different shutter settings to see what works best - this will depend on the aurora conditions, which can change from minute to minute, and so trial and error is to be expected...!  If you get a really good display, then as well as amazing colours (greens, reds, purples etc) you should also get some structures - veils, columns, waves etc.  If you want to get more adventurous, then a smaller aperture will allow for longer exposures, which could produce either spectacular results or else a muddy mess - it depends entirely on the conditions created by the aurora, and no two are alike.  Just experiment until you find something that works...

For reference, the shots we took last night were generally between 10 and 20 seconds in length, at f2.8 and ISO 2000, using a 24-70mm at various focal lengths, on a Canon 5D3.  (By mounting the tripod low to the ground, we were able to block out the streetlights behind the 'standing stones' - which are actually only about 2 feet high and border the edge of the car park..!)

Finally, don't spent the entire evening staring at the camera settings - make sure you also take some time just to soak in the whole experience...!  

Hope you have a great time - and post up your results for us all to admire :wink: '

Helen (but mostly Mike!)

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