David Barthel - North Shore Images PhotographyDavid Barthel North Shore Images Photography
David Barthel

Photo Journal & News

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Split Rock Aurora

I have always found the Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights, to be a phenomenon that has eluded me for most of my life — actually all of it — until Saturday evening. Pictured here is my first known view of the northern lights in my life!

I first caught sight of the aurora while driving north from Two Harbors to Beaver Bay along Highway 61. It was not a particularly strong light show, but a test shot with my camera upon arriving at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park quickly revealed that this was the real deal and not just some clouds illuminated by distant city lights. Trying to contain my excitement, I quickly slid on my cleats, donned my headlamp, grabbed my camera gear, and dashed down the the dark trail to the lakeshore.

The colors of the aurora were not easy to discern with the naked eye, but with a long (30 second) exposure, the camera allowed some of the dramatic colors to be brought out.

The aurora was there, I was there, and I was thrilled!

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