Ice suprise

The past two weeks have been supercrazy with lots of photo shootings. For last night I planned to write a blog post but once again I had to take me camera out. This time I recorded some videos and created this short documentary. Probably the first time you see me and hear my voice, don’t be shocked 😉 Photos will follow at some point. Good night my friends 🙂

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

 

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!

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 🙂

 

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

2-year olds can be a handful

Life with a two-year old is quite a bit different than I expected. It’s great fun, there is always something new to discover, but it really takes almost all my time. Photography projects, timelapsing and social media time is limited to a tiny fraction and so I haven’t been active on the blog – for a very good reason!

I’m sure you understand that and today I wanted to tell you that I really appreciate you sticking around,reading my posts (even they are few) and commenting. It’s the ‘fuel’ to keep me going and even though it sometimes takes a while to answer, well, now you know why. Thanks so much! 🙂

Some two weeks back I’ve been to Lapland with my family and I hope to share photos very soon here 🙂

Roll cloud

Capture the last rays of sunlight, that was my goal two nights ago. When I was on my way to the marina of Varjakka in Oulunsalo, I noticed a rare from of clouds, a roll cloud. I was on the lookout for this phenomena for a couple of years now and until a few nights back I’ve seen only photos of it. Imagine my exitement! Driving to the location, I lost sight of the cloud due to being in the forest and I prayed “please be there, please be there”. Arriving at the marina, there she was, what a beauty! It was the only cloud in the sky and it stretched almost as far as I could see.

Click to view in bigger size and – as usually – drop me a line or two in the comment section and share your thoughts on this 🙂

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Rolling my way – captured around ten minutes past sunset