Unexpected auroras

Last night the weather forecast was clouds and rain. I was all set for a relaxed evening at home with my family without checking the skies for auroas. By accident I saw a friends alert, so I went out and from my porch I saw clear skies and Northern lights dancing. I ran back inside, packed up and made my way towards a lake. On the way auroras lit up the sky even through bright street lamps. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Knowing that the very bright aurora displays may last only minutes I stopped at the first place which was dark enough. To my luck I found this huge puddle made by rain and even caught a reflection.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

29 October 2013

I’ve been at this spot before, it was January 2012 and also then I saw bright auroras. I digged out an old photo where you can see the same tower with red lights.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

30 January 2012

Here another photo from last night. Not many things in life are better than being surprised by clear skies with auroras in it!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

More auroras from 29 October 2013

Into darker times

Like many countries, also Finland uses Daylight saving time during summer. In practise that means in the night of the last Saturday of March the clock will be moved forward one hour. Going back to normal time happens during the last Saturday night of October, which was yesterday.

For me personally, the following afternoon is the worst day of the year for me and today was no different. Due to adjusting the time, it was already dark just after 5pm. Two hours later it felt that it should be already 11pm, but of course it wasn’t. This is when it really hits me, the long summer nights are over.

It usually takes a week or so for me to come to terms with the early darkness and then it’s alright. Growing up in Southern Germany that change wasn’t so bad and 5pm darkness was probably just around Christmas, so very different from here. Thinking of auroras, it’s of course better to have more dark hours. I love Northern lights, but today and the next days I really appreciate a good amount of daylight.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Milky Way

Wall calendar for 2014 – final steps

A while back I thought about doing a calendar for next year and finally I got busy with the preparations. I will do 100 pcs, of which about 30 are already reserved. Next week I should be ready for printing, can’t wait!

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The calendar includes aurora photos and landscapes as well. Its size will be A4 (11.7 x 8.3 in) during shipping and A3 (16.5 x 11.7 in) on the wall. The calendar part will have a square for each day and in it some space to write some notes in it. Here are the EURO prices of the calendars without the shipping
1 for EUR 25.00  |  3 for EUR 72.00  |  5 for 115.00.
Shipping costs for 1-5 calendars are EUR 7.50 to any country.

You can reserve your calendar by sending me an email to: salamapaja@gmail.com

Here some photos which will be in the calendar:

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Heavenly lights – January

Copyright: Thomas Kast

August – Sunset in Kiviniemi

Copyright: Thomas Kast

October – Midnight magic

Magical mystery (aurora) tour

Two nights ago (2nd Oct 2013), I was very lucky to see beautiful auroras throughout the night. Earlier that day all odds were against it.

Being filled with clouds, the weather forecast was not encouraging, but for some reason the skies cleared by nightfall. My car had two surprises in store for me: two flat tires which I apparently am to blame for due to my photo excursion the weekend before. Back then I hit a big rock driving through a narrow forest road and when I checked all seemed fine. The air slowly left and – looking now back – I’m glad it happened in my home yard and not in the middle of no-where at night!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Touching fingertips: Two hands trying to touch each other.

After fixing the car, I left home at 9.30pm driving towards this lake North of Oulu. When I arrived, the show already started. Half of the sky was filled with a thin layer of aurora-fog which didn’t move. In the middle of it was a strong green arc. It didn’t take long and the lights started to dance in all directions. One hour later I saw already three coronas. Because of that aurora-fog most photos were more or less green. That’s when I knew this would be a different night than usually.

I had a lot more time just to enjoy auroras and didn’t concentrate too much on taking pictures. In future, I might just do that again. It’s just so different when taking the time and watch, sucking in the atmosphere, the movement of the lights and the many different shapes. The silence paired with auroras was overwhelming and for a while I held my breath and listened to – nothing.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

“Aurora-fog” in the sky with two arcs

At some point the ‘Earthly’ fog came in made the place looking even more mystic. There was no moonlight, only auroras and the fog. At times there were only weak Northern lights and it was very dark. When bright auroras appeared I could recognize even details on the ground. What didn’t change was the dance right above my head, an extraordinary display of green flickering. At one moment the sky was almost black and a split-second later some parts where lit up, another split-second later it had a different shape or place.

I don’t think any of today’s cameras can capture details of this sort of display. I’m glad they can’t, because I can just stare up in disbelief. To me these auroras are completely random, totally unpredictable and breathtakingly mesmerizing. Just writing about it and thinking back, makes me at a loss for words, again.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

“Common” fog coming on the lake

To capture auroras with a vast field with sparse, tall trees has been a long dream for me. I’ve been a couple of times at such a field, but the photos didn’t bring out the atmosphere as I hoped. Two nights ago the auroras looked to be perfect and I went to a field, leaving the dancing lights behind me. When I got to that place I immediately knew ‘this is it’. Just the atmosphere I hoped, I couldn’t believe it. But enough writing, let photos speak for themselves.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Enchanted: Tree silhouettes create an out-of-this-world atmosphere

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Copyright: Thomas Kast