Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What does the Aurora really look like?

The camera gathers more light and colour in a time exposed image than a the eye can process from moment to moment. So many people are a bit disappointed to see the northern lights after seeing magical coloured saturated images from photos. So below I have taken out the colour by desaturating the photo above more accurately depicting what we saw last night. Still it's amazing, but better in real life.
Aurora over Skerry Holm Croft, Fair Isle, Shetland
Photo by credit to me & Martin Booth - Oct. 8th  2012


  1. i am speechless! this is so magical and beautiful!i love how much effort you put in your posts!

  2. Well said Tommy. I couldn't agree more!
    Eyes also grow older and weaker. :-((

    It also takes a surprisingly long time for our eyes to adjust to low light levels - perhaps as much as half an hour. Iuse a head torch that has red leds for night (including aurora) photography, so as not to destroy my nigh vision when setting up the camera etc.

    Another aspect is the majority of folk do not use the RAW format for recording their images. In this format no processing is done by the camera.

    It is more general for the camera to save the image as a JPEG. In doing so the 'onboard'software works on the image to sharpen, control highlights, shadows, colour enhancement etc - a process over which the photographer has only limited control.

  3. you should have put focus on manual as the autofocus does not work at night, otherwise lovely photo