Northern Lights over Northern Lights Lake

 In Picture

On March 10, 2011, a coronal mass ejection hit Earth and sparked northern lights that reached as far south as Madison, Wis. Here’s the northern lights dance over Northern Lights Lake. Grand Marais, MN. (110311-120)

This was a really cool event. About 11pm, I looked outside and the northern lights were so bright that I could see them in Grand Marais — not the brightest I’ve seen in town but pretty good. I woke up my partner and made her come and look before I left to drive further north to one of my standard northern lights locations. It wasn’t that good there, so I went further north and arrived just as they burst into massive action. Rays, curtains and pulses filled the sky. At points, the northern lights were directly overhead. I was actually shouting out loud in joy (but also to keep the wolves away :) ). After they died down, I drove further up the Gunflint Trail to Bearskin Lake and saw a moose in the road. Plus, three massive shooting stars. Great night!

Recent Posts
Showing 3 comments
  • Tynan Clark

    I also got some pictures last night of the same thing, I thought they came out pretty good! It was my first time shooting anything not in daylight. Yours came out amazing! Any tips, hints, or tricks for a learning photographer?

  • Bryan

    How about take one of my classes. :)

    1. Buy the very best tripod with a great ball head such as Kirk’s BH-1 or BH-3.
    2. Use the tripod.
    3. Use the tripod.
    4. When in doubt see rule 2 and fall back on rule 3. If that doesn’t work for you see rule 4 and study rule 1.
    5. Fill the frame with your subject and use landscape composition techniques.
    6. Set manual focus on infinity.
    7. Work in manual.
    8. Set your aperture for f/2.8 or f/4.
    9. ISO between 400 and 800. If you have a newer camera, you might want to think about 1600.
    10. Set shutter speed based on the intensity of the northern lights. In Minnesota, it’s usually 15 to 30 second.
    11. Use in-camera noise reduction.
    12. I usually shoot with a tungsten white balance.

    Also, read How to Photograph the Northern Lights.

  • scott olson

    Very nice,
    Wish I could see the NLights more often, looks like you were lucky to have clear night to view the supermoon
    Please keep me on your list so i can see more of your work!

Leave a Comment


Start typing and press Enter to search

Grand Portage Visitor Center Turtle