‘Catch the trees’

Clear skies at last after many days and nights of clouds, snow and rain. Last night I went out to a small pond near Oulu to watch auroras. The ice was broken into countless pieces and wind moved them around creating a very mysterious sound. It was just fitting for the mystery I witnessed in the sky. Northern lights were spread all around and movement was very unpredictable. The moon wasn’t up, so all light in the reflection was produced by auroras. Can you see how the lady (Aurora) tries to catch those very tall trees? :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

‘Catch the trees’

 

A matter of moments

Two nights back I saw a bit of Northern lights outside my house. Something inside me told me to go and hope for some nice display. Luckily I listened and I was treated with some amazing reflections at a lake near Oulunsalo, Finland.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

With basically no wind, the reflections were near perfection.

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Many people see some kind of shapes in aurora photos. For this photo some said it’s a crocodile, a dinosaur, even an alien when turning the photo. My favorite was the little dinosaur with the tail on the left and the very bright spot in the center of the image marking its back paws (legs?). Always great to hear what others see in those images!

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Seeing these kind of wonderful auroras doesn’t just happen all the time. There is a lot of waiting involved. Often there are long periods of dark skies or very weak auroras just as in this photo. A faint arc with a little movement. At some nights this is all activity with only some short bits of brighter activity.

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

I want to illustrate how quickly the situation can change. This photo here was taken 120 seconds after the above. Notice how the arc became much brighter. Also needles become visible.

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

This is 20 seconds later and the arc is now very strong and inside it some twirls are visible. Much more needles appear especially on the right hand side. Look closely on the left side to see that the arc starts to ‘wobble’. A strong sign that there is more to come.

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Looking another twenty seconds forward shows the needles start rising up high into the air with hints of other colors as well. The secondary display inside the strong one has become brighter, building a curtain of needles.

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Here more needles rise up higher and higher and auroras start to fill most of the scene. Lot of movement going on. Taken another twenty seconds later. All these comparison photos had the same settings, ISO2500 and 4 seconds of exposure time.

 

These last five photos show how much things changed in just three minutes. Seeing active aurora displays are magical in every way and you never know exactly what will happen. Be ready, expect the unexpected!

Wall calendar 2015

Every autumn I do a wall calendar for the coming year and I’m happy to announce that the 2015 calendar design is ready!

Below you can see the twelve photos and – just as last year – I will sign each calendar before sending them to you. Besides aurora borealis there are also some landscape photos, all of them captured in Finland. My idea was to show how a year here can be like.

Last years customers were very happy with the calendars, which make great gifts, cheer up your office and homes or can be a wonderful Christmas present for your loved ones.

Some more details:
– the size will be A4 (11.7 x 8.3 in) during shipping and will open up to A3 (11.7 x 16.5 in).
– the calendar part will be in English language, stating month, week number and weekday
– for each day there will be a square with some space to write some notes in it.
– the calendars will be shipped, once I have received payment (bank transfer or via paypal

Prices in Euro:  1 for EUR 25.00;  3 for EUR 72.00;  5 for EUR 115.00;  10 for EUR 210.00.
Shipping up to 5 calendars to one address will be an additional EUR 7.50. (For 10: EUR 15.00).

USD prices:  1 for USD 42.00;  3 for USD 103.00;  5 for USD 158.00;  10 for USD 290.00.
Shipping to one address is included.

To order, please use this contact form or send me an email to:
salamapaja@gmail.com

I’m looking forward to your message!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Summary of all photos on the back

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Front cover

 

Calendar part

Calendar part

 

Another night out (Sep 12, 2014)

A few days back, a solar storm hit Earth and produced wonderful auroras. Luckily the weather was good, so I was out with my camera for many hours. Read through the captions of the photos below how the night went and what I saw :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

On the left is still twilight from the sunset while on the right the moon was rising just above the treetops. It was dark enough for the first auroras and I was glad to catch their reflection in this lake. First stop: Somewhere near Yli-Ii.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

After a longer break, the sky slowly filled up with colorful auroras and rays became visible. As always, the camera sees those colors stronger than our human eye.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

I thought about a photo like this over the summer (inspired by other selfies I’ve seen) and with the moonshine so bright, I decided to go to the other end of the lake onto the sand. The idea was that rather being a big part of the photo, I wanted to blend in and – at the same time – to stand out (wearing that red jacket).

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Just at that moment, I realized the rays in the sky got stronger and that a corona would be soon unfolding. So I ran back to the camera and caught this beauty just in time. One of those goosebumps moments.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

An hour later, clouds moved in and I was forced to change location. I went to the rapids of Koitelinkoski in Kiiminki, second stop. There I was able to take a few photos before the clouds caught up with me.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Racing further South, I reached the Baltic Sea and captured these reflections in the Baltic Sea – the last stop of the night. I felt like trying out different angles as you can see. After that I went home, trying to sleep with all these images in my mind. It took quite a while :)

 

Aurora HD wallpaper – sign up & claim

I’ve decided to give all my blog followers an HD wallpaper for personal use as background on their computer screen. The photo chosen is ‘Moonlit clouds’, one of my favorites.

If you are
– following my blog via email, you should have the file already.
– following my blog via WordPress.com, please contact me and let me know your email address

Where can I sign up? On the right side you can easily sign up via email. The offer is valid until end of September.

Enjoy your green wallpaper :)

PS: Last night I was out chasing the lights and will share some photos in the next days as well as some insights to my ‘night out’ :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

That’s the wallpaper photo: Moonlit clouds and reflected auroras in a lake

Home sweet home

During the last nights, there were often auroras in the sky and I was glad to capture some of them right outside my house. Here are some photos.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Very strong auroras for a short moment revealing countless needles in the sky above our trees.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Street lamps are off during week nights and so even purple auroras were visible

Copyright: Thomas Kast

A wonderful arc above my neighbors hose and inside the arc more dancing auroras!

 

 

And so it starts..

Last night I’ve been out for the first time in this young aurora season. I was lucky to the Northern lights in the sky three times before from my porch at home which was nice. But going out to chase the lights and find good spots really starts the fire inside me, it’s what I love to do. With fog in the air my expectations weren’t high and so the weakish auroras didn’t bother me at all. Being out under the stars in silence is what it is all about. Northern lights are just a bonus :)

So here is one of the photos which shows a rowing boat I found walking along the water line. There will be more nights out and this was a great start :)

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Weak auroras in a foggy night