Northern lights in Stockholm

March 20, 2015

I didn’t think I’d ever witness aurora borealis in the middle of Stockholm. But by some weird chance, I actually saw it this week. In all honesty, most of the world saw it, because there had been an unusual solar storm last weekend, and the electrons and protons reached Earth earlier this week.

In some weird way it feels like it’s Stockholm saying goodbye, because, as most of you know, this was my last week here. Next stop is Helsinki.

northern_lights_stockholm

I actually caught the aurora by surprise, I was on my way to bed, and decided to go out on the balcony. When I looked up, in a completely cloudless sky, I saw a weird, straight and fast moving cloud. As I stood there, the cloud started to break up into smaller clouds, and that’s when it hit me.

There wasn’t a lot of time, so I ran in to the apartment, started ripping at the packed boxes, and pulled out my tripod, and then fetched some cameras and lenses. Once outside on the balcony, I couldn’t decided on which camera to use, nor which lens. After shooting a lot of random pictures, I pulled myself together, and actually started to think.

My trusty Canon 60D, loaded with Magic Lantern, became my primary camera, I wanted to time lapse this. I set it up to shoot every two seconds, once the camera was clicking away, I took the memory card from my 5D and headed inside to inspect the images.

aurora_borealis

After a quick edit, I published the first picture to flickr, I then decided to inspect the time lapse, when I got out on the balcony I noticed that the aurora was gone. And then, the horror, my memory card was full. I only got about a hundred pictures before I was out of space.

Not nearly enough to make a decent video, instead I decided to just take a few frames and make a gif-animation. While editing the images I noticed that the best part of the northern light had already disappeared and left was only some green slime moving around.

aurora-gif

But it’s better than nothing, right?

Anyway, I decided to head out to a better place than my balcony the next evening. I went up on a hill (the hill that the aurora is above in the last image), I sat around for about an hour, but I guess it had been a once in a life time experience, because I couldn’t detect any northern lights on the sky at all.

If I shot with a really long exposure, I got something that looked like aurora streaks, but it could’ve been anything really.

canon_5d_upper_display

Even though the results aren’t that great, I’m really happy that I got to see the aurora, the next day at the office, there were a lot of sad faces because they missed out on the spectacular light show.

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