Surprise after sunset in a June night

Experiencing something unexpected is always an adrenaline rush and the story behind the photo below is no different. In that night I went to Oulunsalo for a nice sunset above the Baltic Sea. The sky was mixed with patches of blue and clouds, some of them containing rain showers. Just as the sun was disappearing behind the horizon, one of those dark cloud made its way right at me. Waiting out the hard rain was a great way to test my jacket which wasn’t all that water proofed as I hoped. The just-after-sunset sky produced then wonderful colours so I kept clicking away. It was then when I noticed a warm glow behind me and I turned around to have a look.

What I saw made my heart race. ‘My’ rain cloud was bathing in sunlight although the sun was below the horizon! And not only that, there was a wonderful pinkish rainbow. I’ve never seen a rainbow after sunset or after midnight! Trying to suck in that moment, my hands were running on autopilot and got busy with the camera. Two photos later then the magic moment passed already and that huge cloud was grey as none of this would have happened. Gotta love nature!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Rainbow in a June night


Digital art: Independence Day

On December 6th we celebrate the Independence Day in Finland. As a special show at night, Northern lights appeared in the sky and I was out to catch some.This time I was in Vihiluoto near Oulu. To my delight the snow on the Baltic Sea was washed away by rain earlier. The remaining layer of ice worked as a mirror for the city lights of Oulu.

While processing the photo, I bumped into an interesting preset which changed the photo from realism to a paint-like canvas. Weeks ago I’ve seen some similar effect on another photo and immediately got inspired. I love to think outside my box and this week there was some time for it, thanks to my wife. Sitting for hours fine-tuning the image, I finally was satisfied and here it is. Make sure you click on it to see it larger.

As always, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on my post :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

A view to Oulu from Vihiluoto

2am in an October night

Northern lights appeared in the sky on my way home and I had to pull over although I was ready to sleep. Seeing these countless needles dance in the sky, adrenaline quickly replaced fatigue. The camera here was set very low to catch a good part of the display.

Settings: 1.6s exposure @ ISO2000.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

The first ‘real’ winter night

At last the first ‘real’ winter night. I didn’t know how much I missed it until I was out. The air was crisp at -15C and the moon bathed the landscape into magic light. And just for a while, the Lady (Aurora) danced in the skies.

I went to Juurusojan venesatama at the river Oulujoki. To my delight there were still some rowing boats from the summer waiting to be captured by my camera ;)

Only today I noticed that the auroras on the right are lines like the boats beneath and most of the auroras to the left go straight up like the trees. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Can you imagine yourself enjoying this view? I’d love hear about your thoughts!

Dancing lights above some row boats

Dancing lights above the river Oulujoki

Halloween auroras 2014

A few nights back I went out to find halloween auroras. Last year I was lucky to witness a mind-blowing night, so I went back to the same place in hope to see something similar :) Although it was far from mind-blowing, I loved to be out in the darkness seeing gazillions of stars. Here are some photos:

Copyright: Thomas Kast

While doing some test shots for a time lapse, I caught this shooting star racing through the clouds. This is a crop from the original wide-angle exposure.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Beautiful, colorful night sky above this frozen lake. On the ice you can see the reflection of Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra


And here is the time lapse sequence of clouds, the Milky Way and some green :)

‘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’