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Wait until It Happens

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Constantly wondering if you should give up and go home. Sometimes you do that, sometimes you don't when you really should have.

But you never know.

Aurora Borealis and clouds
Waiting for clouds to go away

On Tuesday February 18 2020 I waited for 3 hours before the aurora really started dancing. Do I have to mention it was worth every minute of waiting?

So, what did I do during those 3 hours. A lot, actually!

For once I had company, but I spent the first hour on my own. I arrived at the beach at 9 PM. I mounted the camera on the tripod, took some test photos to fine tune my settings. And then I shot what I saw, which was basically the night sky with a huge green area (the aurora) partly hidden by clouds.

And then I made a bonfire.

Standing by the bonfire while waiting for the aurora show
A bonfire is super when it's cold.

My company arrived at 10.15 PM. He once said he'd like to join me sometime when I go aurora hunting so I sent him a message in the late afternoon and invited him. And he accepted. Nice with some company, really. I spend most aurora nights on my own, which has its benefits, too.

We spent the following two hours basically talking and waiting for clouds to go away and the aurora to increase in strength. But to my surprise those clouds made some cool photos. At midnight I told him I wanted to relocate further south, hoping that the sky would be free from clouds. He decided to call it a ... I mean he went home and I drove 15 kilometers further south.

Aurora behind clouds. The cloud covering all the action and nothing else.
Beautiful combo of aurora and a cloud lit by industrial lights.

Dragon shaped cloud in front of the northern lights.
Meet the cloud dragon! He loves the aurora and flew in front of it for hours.

At the new location there were less clouds and I mounted my camera on the tripod again and had just started shooting when the Northern Lights suddenly became very strong and started moving and dancing. I was glad that I had had the patience to wait until it happens. The show was awesome and I even managed to capture parts of it on film.

Dancing aurora with different colors.
Dancing aurora.

Northern Lights with details of pink and yellow.
Green aurora with details of pink and yellow.

Northern lights panorama.
Merged from 5 photos.

After 10 minutes it faded just a little and I started experimenting with light painting a barn. I found two rocks, one being placed on top of the other like a monument. Took some photos of them, too.

Light painted rock and barn with aurora as a backdrop
Playing with light painting.

Aurora reflecting in car window
Northern Lights reflected in my car.

After 50 minutes the aurora became weaker and I decided to head home. But, as sometimes happens, it became stronger as I drove back north so I had to stop and take a few more photos.

Northern lights in Finland
I had to stop before driving into town.

Water Tower and aurora
Nykarleby Water Tower with star backdrop.

My last stop was at the water tower. They put out most of the street lights in Nykarleby at 1 am every night, so if the aurora is high enough on the sky you can get really cool urban photos with the aurora. Not so high up this night, but the water tower was beautiful with the starry sky as a backdrop.

Got home at 2 am, very satisfied. This night all the waiting had paid off and I got to see a great show.

Thanks Reevi for the company! Please join me again sometime!


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