Posts Tagged ‘night photography’

Drones and Aurora

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

[by Fritz]  Here in the North we’ve been enjoying an auroral peak over the past few years. From September to April, if skies are clear and geomagnetic activity is good, there’s a decent chance of seeing the northern lights. Over the past four winters I’ve been shooting the aurora around the circumpolar north, from Alaska to Norway, which is why I got an unusual call last March from a colleague in Vancouver.

Gyronimo Aerials is a production company that specializes in low level aerials. But this crew stands apart from all the drone upstarts out there – almost everyone on the Gyronimo team has a background in film production and cinematography. They’ve been around for awhile and they do beautiful work. Patrick had pitched an idea to their partners at DJI (the multinational drone manufacturer), and the company bought in.

They wanted to come north with some new technology and a Sony A7s to shoot aerials of the northern lights. This is the first time the aurora has been filmed in real-time from a UAV. Patrick used to live in the Yukon, and he knows you don’t just show up and decide to shoot the aurora. There are lots of variables, and it can be quite a chase. They also wanted to tell a story, so he also brought along a director to craft something more than a reel.

They scrambled north and we crisscrossed the Yukon – from the Dempster to Kluane to the South Klondike Highway – in search of dramatic locations and aurora pulses. I worked on this production as an assistant producer, but being in front of the camera was new for me. They were a great crew to work with, and I believe they nicely captured some of the experiences that I’ve had over the past few winters. You can also read about this shoot on the DJI blog

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zTYn7vQmM8&feature=youtu.be

Finding the aurora borealis

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

[by Teresa] This week Fritz happens to be in the right place at the right time: above the Arctic Circle with clear skies under some of the largest solar storms in years. Living north of 60 we’ve seen many aurora, but it sounds like yesterday’s auroral show in northern Norway was something special. His email home says it best:

(January 22)… M3 class magnetic storm. I’m alone along the road to the small fishing village of Tromvik. It’s perfectly clear, calm, maybe -3° C. I’m at the end of a fjord surrounded by snow-covered peaks and it’s a completely magic evening with brilliant stars and aurora are going off everywhere, twisting and rippling, light green and pinks, breathtaking. Then super-strong winds hit going north, buffeting me and the cameras, one tripod without a camera blows over (are winds associated with strong aurora events?!). For awhile I feel like I am standing right on the very edge of the earth looking into space. It’s awe-inspiringly beautiful, exhilarating. I feel almost frighteningly exposed. This was considered an M3 class event, imagine what an X-class event must be like?

It looks like he won’t have to wait long to find out. Within hours of yesterday’s peak, space weather forecasters warned of a massive solar flare due to arrive later today (Jan. 24). Fritz reports he’s eagerly awaiting this next event, which is reportedly the biggest solar radiation storm in seven years. Hopefully the clouds stay away!

 

Cold weather, warm edit

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

[by Fritz] It’s definitely easier to edit photos from a tropical trip when it’s -35° C outside. For the last few days I’ve finally gotten around to editing and processing photos from a family camping adventure to Hawaii last year. I don’t know how other photographers keep up with the processing backlog, but I find that months can go by before I get time to process my personal shoots. Here’s a portfolio of images from Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea and Honolulu, Oahu.  

High-ISO nights on the world’s tallest mountain

Monday, July 12th, 2010

[by Fritz] Recently I had the chance to do some night shooting on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea using my new Canon 1D Mark IV. I spent five evenings shooting on the summit in the freezing cold, and like a lot of visitors to Hawaii, I resorted to using socks for mittens. Low-tech gloves, high-tech camera – feels like science fiction. With fast lenses and ISO settings of 6,400 or higher, I can shoot in almost complete darkness and freeze stars as single points just as they look to the human eye – no more long exposures with circular star trails. Canon’s high-ISO camera combined with the new noise reduction in Adobe Photoshop CS5 produces phenomenal results.

The real sci-fi story is at the top of Mauna Kea where there’s over a billion dollars worth of telescopes, radio dishes and lasers searching the sky. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano with an elevation of 13,800 feet, and from the ocean floor it measures 30,000 feet, making it the world’s tallest mountain. In the middle of the Pacific with clear, stable conditions above the clouds, it’s one of the best places in the world for astronomy, which is why 13 international observatories are clustered on the summit. It’s the most outrageous stargazing I’ve ever done.