Good photos can be a matter of seconds

The past two weeks, taking photos was all about being quick enough. Here is what I mean.

During one night I’ve been at a lake to capture some auroras. Before anything happened I explored the lakeshore and found a few good spots. Auroras appeared and I started to take pictures. I hoped for good reflections, but from the place I was at, it didn’t come out all that well. The lights in the sky were quite good and I feared the best part would be over until I would be at the better spot. I really didn’t know what to do, but the Northern lights made the decision for me. They got much stronger and I grabbed my gear and ran to the other spot, almost dropping my camera. It was all worth it and I got some nice shots with good reflections.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Auroras are reflected in this calm lake with a satellite flare.

Days later I’m back at the same lake. Now with a friend and this time we set up the cameras at the ‘good spot’. We waited and waited. Nothing to see but a thin, blurry arc, just over the treetops. At one point, we gave up, packing our cameras neatly into the bag and folding away the tripods. As we walked to the car, Lady Aurora suddenly put up a bright show into the sky. With curses running through our minds, we ran back to set up as quickly as possible. After the first shots it came to my mind that I forgot to focus! So I focused the lens and just after that the show was over, leaving me with so-so photos.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Nice auroras, not so nice focus

Two nights ago I was out for a sunset. The weather has been quite unstable, lots of rain showers with bits of blue sky in between. An hour before sunset I saw a big hole in the clouds just above our house with clouds moving towards West. I packed my gear and knowing the sunset time, I drove to the North of Oulu. While driving I noticed the clouds were moving much faster than I thought, so – once again – there was no time to spare. When I arrived at the beach, the sun was shining through some clouds at the horizon. To my delight it was low tide and some pools of water reflected the sunlight. There were many people out walking in the sand and piled up stones they found. I went to one of the piles and took a few pictures. Then the clouds already covered the sun and all the good light was gone.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Between rain. Short time to capture a nice sunset

Of course for all of these shots some luck was needed, but sometimes it is up to yourself just how lucky you get!