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A Major Failure

This is going to be embarrassing but I have decided to tell the story of my recent failure.

I constantly check Aurora forecasts and weather forecasts so I’ll be ready to capture more Northern Lights with my camera whenever the chance appears. There have been a very active Aurora period since the season started in late August but it has also been cloudy for the most part. I have only been able to shoot one Aurora each month.

One Aurora per month so far.

I was starting to wonder if the sky ever would clear up this month, but on the 24th it did. I check the night sky several times every night and on Friday at 10pm it was clear and the sky was decorated with fairly strong Northern Lights. I hurried to get dressed very warmly as usual and was ready in 15 minutes and drove to the nearest dark place with no light pollution to the north. That’s a 10 minute drive from my home. Or maybe only 8 minutes this time …

As I arrived the Northern Lights were vivid and literally dancing before my eyes. It looked like the sky was on fire. A green and red fire. Breathtakingly beautiful. The kind of Northern Lights you would want a visitor to see who has never seen the Northern Lights.

As quickly as I possibly could I got my camera on the tripod and started working with the settings when I realized my battery was empty. I always have an extra battery in my bag so I put that into the camera. And then … I saw that my second battery was empty too! That has never ever happened to me before in such a critical moment. I simply could not believe how it could have happened. I alwasy recharge an empty battery as soon as I can.

So what did I do now? Well, one of the batteries had just enough power to let me take a few photos before the camera died.

Novermber Aurora dancing.

But after that there was only one thing to do. Go home and recharge. I drove home and felt very disappointed. But I had no one but myself to blame. I just hoped for the Northern Lights to stay or reappear so I would be able to shoot them after recharging.

Hiding behind clouds again.

I came back one hour later and the Aurora was hidden behind clouds again. But I saw a clear sky to the south and decided to wait and see. I drank some hot chocolate and tried to get some sleep while waiting. At 00:55 I woke up to a much clearer sky and a visible Aurora. But nothing like it had been earlier that night.

I took a series of still photos for a timelapse film. But more clouds came in and I had to admit defeat.

Lesson learned: always check your batteries and be ready at all times.

Timelapse of the Aurora hiding behind the clouds.

My best shot from the evening (one of the two that I managed to take before power failure) is now available in my webshop. Click the ”Temporarily in the shop” category.

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