And suddenly the sky cleared..

Last night I was out and about to capture auroras. While I drove to the location, a starry sky followed me. Once there, clouds or high fog moved in with no stars visible anymore. I was just about to leave when two other chasers passed me. After the chat I packed my gear and left. Well… almost 🙂 From one moment to the next, countless stars were visible again. With stars not enough, I was lucky to see the moon setting – in a wonderful orange glow.

Moon set around 11.30pm

Lady Aurora made an appearance as well. As the display wasn’t too crazy I could continue working on my star trail project. An exiting night it was and once back home, it was hard to find sleep. This afternoon while writing this blog entry I feel I could doze of any mome … zz … 🙂

Aurora and star trails

Aurora fatalis

Doing tours, photography and time-lapsing brings lots of memories, good ones, great ones and some terrible ones. One night in Äkäslompolo it was a mix of all. I took my group on a fell to see the magic nightsky of Lapland. Lady Aurora put on a great show and the clients were happy.

Meanwhile I went away for a while to set up my time-lapse rig to realise a special sequence. Adjusting and testing takes quite some time, when it’s all done, it starts to be easy. Or impossible, because mine never started the way I wanted. One cable was broken and that was it for my idea. All around me were Northern lights, snow turned even greenish. It’s good you didn’t hear me there 🙂

I had a spare cable further away but there just wasn’t time to get it – and I needed to attent to my group. So I shot a few photos in all directions and below is one of them. The group was super-happy, I enjoyed the ‘glow’ in their eyes and words and I got a few good shots. All good 🙂 Already waiting for next winter to bring more people to these magical places up North.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Colour rain

When the sunset hit the rain last night, I almost couldn’t believe the colours. The sky was on a superglow in countless shades from yellow to blue. And so my plan to stay home naturally failed and so I went to the seaside. Well, not without stopping a couple of times.. 🙂

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Nearby my home

Dreams in green – in a February night

Usually I’m looking for clear skies to see the most of auroras, the shapes, the movement and colors. Clouds make the sky not only interesting but creates a challenge. Are the clouds thin enough? Are there breaks in the clouds? Do the clouds move fast? Lot’s of questions and often all answers are No’s. When all comes together though, the clouds can be THE magic ingredient.

In that February night I had exactly that situation. Great aurora forecast but cloudy. Well, almost. On the horizon was a small gap in the clouds, that’s where you see the strong bright green. I explored the area and found this snowtree ‘sculpture’. It totally fascinated me and I tried many angles to get the best photo. The difficult part was to preserve the untouched snow. And here is the final result.

Enjoy your week!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Feel the rush!

Seeing aurora borealis is a waiting game, I keep mentioning this over and over it seems. And two nights ago it couldn’t have been more true. I went to a river near Oulu and when I arrived the moon light was so bright, I didn’t notice that faint bow of green in the sky. Once my eyes got used to the darkness I saw it. An hour later the bow didn’t move much at all and still looked like this:

Copyright: Thomas Kast

About one hour in, the sky didn’t change much

Happy with that sight, I explored the area, trying to keep my feet dry and at the same time keeping an eye on that faint arc. You just never know..

For the next two hours there was hardly any change and so I could enjoy the scenery dipped in moonlight. When the time was closing in to 1am, I ‘discussed’ with myself to stay or go home. The next day I had to work and so my (really boring) common sense made its decision. I started to pack up while that bow was just a tiny bit stronger. It didn’t seem that anything would happen soon, so I reached to remove my camera from the tripod.

It was then when the sky went nuts. Suddenly there were multiple strong bows, very bright. Countless needles danced at a breathtaking speed.. left, right, high up, near the horizon, Boom! Adrenaline kicked in big time. My heart was racing while my eyes tried to capture every movement of the auroras. They got so strong that I could see purple color dancing in the sky and somehow the corner of my eyes noticed the reflections in the water. It was such a rush seeing so many things in a short time!

And then… stop! A few minutes later the sky went quiet again, just like that in seconds. There it was, that faint arc posing innocent as if nothing has happened.

It’s nights like these which keep me waiting and waiting. Keep me going out again and again to see those magical lights – faint or furious. Often that faint bow won’t light up much or bring a much smaller show – but that’s just it. You never know when what will happen. So you better be out there at that very right moment when something subtle turns into something spectacular.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

2 hours later, the bow was a bit stronger but not much change.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

1,5 minutes later. OMG, auroras fill the sky, auroras reflect in the water, OMG