Skilled Friends in Cold Places — Northern Lights Images « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Skilled Friends in Cold Places -- Northern Lights Images

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I have not been down to the lake for several days as the northeast winds and clear skies were replaced by winds from the S, SW & W. I will be e-mailing a new and improved a9 iii .DAT file, a revised Buttons and Dials Guide, and the complete INFO sheet this afternoon.

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Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are — out of ignorance — using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads. And the same is true in spades when ordering new camera bodies or lenses. My advice will often stave you some serious money and may help you avoid making a seriously bad choice. Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

This image was created on 11 May 2024 in Reedsburg, Wisconsin by multiple IPT veteran “Hapless” Bob Eastman. He used the Robus RC-5558 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II lens (Sony E) with the discontinued Sony a7 R IV. ISO 500. 30 full seconds at f/2.8. AWB at 12:40:31am on a clear night.

Manual Focus. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #1: Aurora Borealis
Image courtesy and copyright 2024 Robert Eastman

Hapless But Happy and Loving It! The Life of Bob Eastman

If you missed the Hapless But Happy and Loving It! The Life of Bob Eastman blog post two years ago, click here; be sure to fasten your seatbelt.

Historic Geomagnetic Storm Dazzles – NASA Earth Observatory

The strongest geomagnetic storm in more than two decades dazzled scientists and sky-watchers alike in May 2024. The G5 storm culminated in a remarkable display of the aurora borealis overnight on May 10–11, visible from many areas worldwide, including latitudes where sightings of auroras are uncommon.May 15, 2024

Though “hapless” describes Bob Eastman in part, you would be remiss not to use hardworking and determined. In Homer in FEB 2023, I slept peacefully in my bed at Land End Resort while he made some great Northern Lights images. When he heard of the solar storm in May, he was Bobby on the spot! For Image #1, it was a balmy 39°.

Suport System

Bob used a Robus 5558 tripod topped by a Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro with a Wimberley P-5 Plate on the bottom of his a7R IV body. What many folks do not realize is that the FlexShooter Pro heads feature a bi-directional clamp so that you can mount your camera body on them crossways as well as your long super telephoto lenses with the pate oriented the long way (of course). Long lens folks no longer need to travel with a ballhead for scenics and a gimbal head for super telephotos.

This image was created on 6 March 2024 at Wat’chee Lodge, Churchill, Manitoba Canada multiple IPT veteran Anita North. She used the Robus RC-5558 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens (at 16.5mm) with the Sony a1 Mirrorless Camera. ISO 6400. 30 seconds at f/4.5. AWB at 1:26:51am on a clear night.

Manual Focus. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #2: Aurora Borealis
Image courtesy and copyright 2024 Anita North

Amazing Creativity!

I loved this image from the moment I saw it in a text message. I did not realize that it was in fact a double exposure. The second row of trees is actually the front row of trees! So how do you create a double exposure with a camera that does not offer that feature?

Anita framed the image and left the shutter open for 15 seconds. Then, she loosened the silver knob, tilted the camera up a bit, locked the silver knob, and let the exposure run for the rest of the 30 seconds. The result? An ethereal image. How’s that for quick and creative thinking and going for different?

Almost forgot to mention, the low temperatures that evening were in the negative mid forties, i.e., -45° Fahrenheit!

You can see more of Anita’s excellent work on her Instagram page here. Be sure to scroll down and see some of her world class Polar Bear and African Wildlife stuff.

Image Question

Why don’t we see any clear evidence of the movement of the camera in Image #2?


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

5 comments to Skilled Friends in Cold Places — Northern Lights Images

  • Two sweet images–Bob’s a record of the kind event that could take down the grid for many months (telegraph lines burned in 1859), Anita’s an image that would have been a contest winner even with one row of spruces, let alone two. The evidence of movement is missing because it took place in only 3% if the 30-second exposure.

  • Artie
    Anita is so very skilled and I love her image. I have done similar with zooming in or out while on the tripod however I never re composed or moved the head Amazing Anita Love it!!!
    One day I wish to meet you in person and give you a hug for real 🙂
    Love love getting out in nature….Get off the couch and go out and try for one image. You will be blessed by the amazing life and beauty right before you. Than sit back and just watch nature.
    Always with love b

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