Saturday, September 13, 2014

Looking for the Aurora and Postprocessing

Because of two solar flares hitting the earth over the next few days there is a greater possibility of Aurora being seen lower in the world than normal. What you need to do is to check the Aurora forecast at http://auroraforecast.gi.alaska.edu/ and http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/ and hope for clear nights.

Early this morning, my son and I traveled out to Gooseberry neck in Westport Massachusetts hoping to see the Aurora. The sky was clear with only a few clouds, there was a 74% waxing gibbous moon in the sky which lit up the whole area. That has been stated that even having a bright moon should not prevent you from seeing the Aurora.

Observing the sky, we did not see any Aurora, however, toward the southeast in the sky Orion was climbing. Looking to the north, despite the moon many stars were seen, including a couple of meteors.

I photographed the sky utilizing my Nikon D800 along with a Ronikon 24 mm f/1.2 manual focus lens. I am going to show you what the pictures looked right out of the camera, then their appearance with post processing and the steps that I utilized to get the final image.

Night Sky with Orion Right Out Of the Camera
Night Sky with Orion Post Processed
Post Processing Steps
Night Sky Looking North
Night Sky Post Processed
Processing Steps in LightRoom
Final Processing in Photoshop Utilizing Smart Filters

Depending on the weather, I will be out again from midnight on hoping to see and photograph the Aurora.


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