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“Eye of the Aurora”

Self portrait as the Aurora Borealis weaves above Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

I had just wrapped up taking photos at Canyon/Crawford Falls in Kelowna and was on the drive back to Lake Country when I saw that familiar bank of green in the sky to the North. I had this specific location in mind for an aurora shoot and have had one other unsuccessful attempt at this spot. Basically you have to clamber down through steep bushes and cross the railway at the most dark area on the west side of Kalamalka Lake. It also has the most front and center view North. I took waders and a camp chair with me. The water was warm and inviting and it was rather enjoyable wading in and out to see what each round of shots on the intervalometer had turned up. I noticed that when I tried this body position it looked like I had formed an eye like silhouette. I spent the next 10 minutes refining exactly where to stand to be separated from the far shoreline but not too small as to be insignificant. Slight wader fillage was an issue at the perfect spot. I loved how the purple arc bursts from the brightest point in the aurora creating an eye of its own. I grabbed a focus stacked frame at lower iso for the foreground rocks which gleamed in the dark.

tech: 16mm, f/2.8, 10 seconds, iso 3200 and (rocks: same except 30 seconds @ iso 1600)

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