Photo: Moonlit aurora over Vik beach, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February 22, 2018. 22:32
The nighttime sky has been quit active over the last week, with impressive aurora on many nights, though also a quiet night or two. Last night the aurora came out early, before 19:00 with the sky barely even dark and 4 hours later it was still going!
While staying at Haukland for a small private workshop we first headed to Uttalkelv, as we hadn’t yet shot the northern lights there. But soon we figured it would be best to head elsewhere as car after photo tour van after car arrived. To be blunt, Uttakleiv is a total shit show these days, with groups just walking up and setting their tripods right in front of you and shining headlamps all over the place. It is unfortunate, but Lofoten’s popularity has killed the enjoyment of this location for me and I will no longer shoot there during the winter season.
Luckily, there still remains a few more peaceful options, for now, just around the corner. And so we relocated first to Haukland and then to Vik as the night progressed. Normally I like the moon to help illuminate the scene. But the quarter moon of the past few nights just always seemed to be in the wrong position and made getting a nice composition someone difficult.
If the moon was in the side of the frame, then it would pull your eye away from the aurora. Eventually I just figured it was best to put the moon in the middle of the image, and hopefully the aurora would cooperate and form a nice enough shape around it. Which in this image, I think worked out well enough.
As the whole sky was filled with dancing aurora, and you can see by my exposure how bright it was, I needed a wider field of view than just 14mm. So I composed the scene with a lower, foreground image, and an upper, sky image. I could have perhaps cropped to 4:5, but I feel 1:1 works a bit better with this one.
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
2 images – top, bottom