Minnesota Northern Lights

Home / Grand Marais / Minnesota Northern Lights

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.


Recommended Posts
Showing 14 comments
  • scott olson
    Reply

    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

    • Bryan
      Reply

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

  • Wes Scott
    Reply

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

  • dawn meyocks
    Reply

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

    • Bryan
      Reply

      Hi, Dawn,

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

  • Paul
    Reply

    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?

    • Bryan
      Reply

      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.

  • Mike Thiele
    Reply

    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!

    • Bryan
      Reply

      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.

  • Mike Thiele
    Reply

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

    • Bryan
      Reply

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

  • Kevin
    Reply

    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.

  • Patricia Elder
    Reply

    We so want to see the Northern Lights, but cannot afford Alaska or Norway. Our son gave us a gift card to Naniboujou, but we need to know when we could see the lights to make a reservation. I would so appreciate your help and guidance.

    • Bryan
      Reply

      There is no real way to predict when you will be able to see the northern lights in northern Minnesota. The event that causes them is all about whether or not the sun has a earth-directed coronal mass ejection. If it does, we may or may not get northern lights. The events are called space weather and it’s similar to earth weather in that they might be able to predict the weather three days out, but there’s no guarantee that that weather will happen.

      This is one of the easiests websites to use for prediction: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/NorthAmerica/

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Send me an email and we'll get back to you, asap.