Minnesota Northern Lights

Minnesota northern lights over Nothern Lights Lake

The Minnesota northern lights were out tonight, so we drove up the Gunflint looking for a good location to view them. It turned out that Northern Lights Lake provided the best view. We watched them dance above our heads for hours. For about a half hour, they were so bright that the almost full moon didn’t stand a chance of making them look dim. Here are a few pictures from our Minnesota northern lights or if you like the proper term: aurora borealis Minnesota-style.

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  1. Posted 10 Sep ’11 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    your great! what was the temp and date?
    I’ll be up next week participating in the rollerblade marathon
    bringing up KongPong so come down and play a game be fun to meet you in person.
    Yours in Sport

    • Posted 10 Sep ’11 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      These are from the night of Sept 9 to 10, 2011, which was last night. The temp was around 50.

  2. Posted 10 Sep ’11 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! Seems to be a move active year! I hope it continues so
    I can see it myself in a few weeks.

  3. dawn meyocks
    Posted 11 Sep ’11 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    These a wonderful photos! I am in your area at least once a year..must come buy your shop

    • Posted 11 Sep ’11 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Hi, Dawn,

      I don’t have a shop in Grand Marais. I work out of a home office.

  4. Paul
    Posted 11 Sep ’11 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    On our BWCA week this summer we didn’t see any northern lights, but I had the camera ready just in case. Can you tell us what settings you used for the shots last night?

    • Posted 11 Sep ’11 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Paul, it’s going to vary based on the brightness of the northern lights; they’re never the same brightness. I like to use an ISO 400 or less and try for a f/4 (on a f/2.8 lens) with exposures ranging from a few seconds to 30 seconds.

      Usually, you don’t get as much detail in the foreground, because it’s so dark out, but the moon was full, so I ended up getting lots of detail.

  5. Mike Thiele
    Posted 12 Sep ’11 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    These are incredible Bryan! Only f/4 with an ISO of 400 on this? Did it take much in post-exposure processing? Is this with a 5d and a fish-eye L series lens? I was out that night too but the lights were not this spectacular where I was. Great capture!

    • Posted 12 Sep ’11 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Mike. Not much post on this at all. I use Nikon, so it’s not a 5d. :) They were only this good for about 5 to 10 minutes. The rest of the night was pretty muted.

  6. Mike Thiele
    Posted 13 Sep ’11 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    What do you use for processing Bryan? Is this from a raw format?

    • Posted 13 Sep ’11 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I process images with Lightroom, and I always shoot raw.

  7. Posted 12 Oct ’11 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Wow. These northern light looks amazing. I never saw those lights before. I wish i could see them with my own eyes one day.
    This is a great work, shooting those photos.

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