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Old 17th of September 2002 (Tue)   #1
bigdave
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Default Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

I just moved to the upper peninsula of Michigan and I was wondering if anyone has some pointers on photographing Aurora Borealis. Currently I use a tripod and shutter: 10secs, aperture: 2.8, ISO:200. They turn out ok for the most part, but the blues end up looking green for some reason. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 22nd of September 2002 (Sun)   #2
bbrownak
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

I'm in Alaska and I've yet to get the chance to take some Aurora shots, but I have taken a few courses at a local college where the teacher informed the class that Northern Lights are always a mystery to shoot. He had good results at normal shutter speed and slow shutter speeds. He advised that a slower shutter more regularly achieved good results. Just keep juggling around and I'm sure you'll find something that works. I used to live in Northern Lower MI and that was my first experience with the lights. Enjoy!
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Old 24th of September 2002 (Tue)   #3
bigdave
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

Thanks so much bbrownak, I guess I'll just have to open the aperture wide open and get a nice long exposure time with like iso 100-200. The only thing I have to worry about now is the blur. Much thanks for the tip.
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Old 25th of September 2002 (Wed)   #4
UKinNY
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

just make sure you use a tripod. You will probably find that at an ISO of around 100 even the 15seconds aperture time may be a little too short. but good luck, and let me know the results. I plan on going up north next year to picture the lights. Btw, not sure about his, but you might want to check the CF media you are going to use - i wonder if microdrives can operate at such low temperatures....
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Old 25th of September 2002 (Wed)   #5
Leighow
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

If G2 expertise can help, why don't you ask Mike Hendley

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...p?t=4421#19314


HOWIE
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Old 26th of September 2002 (Thu)   #6
Chazs
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

About 3 weeks ago I finally witnessed the Aurora Borealis in Edison (north of Seattle). I had to use an setting of 400 ASA and 15 seconds. The 100 ASA just couldn't gather enough light. I had to put up with some graininess as a consequence. Here is a link to some pictures that worked:

http://ww2.svc.ctc.edu/MVc/Math/facu.../aurora_01.jpg

Change the 01 to 02, 03, and 04 in the address for a few more pictures.

My real concern is the banding I get on extremely dark areas. Is this common with digital cameras and dark areas?
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Old 27th of September 2002 (Fri)   #7
bigdave
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

Those are nice photos! I don't know what camera you have, but my S30 doesn't have banding like that. If you're interested, there's something you can do in Photoshop to clean up the banding a little. Go to filter>blur>smart blur> I used radius 3, threshold 4, and high quality. Here's what it looks like

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Old 27th of September 2002 (Fri)   #8
Chazs
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Default Re: Northern Lights with PowerShot S30

Hi Dave, and thanks. I haven't mastered the blur masking in PS yet. Seems like I always get a blurry picture without removing the unwanted elements. I'll use your suggested values and experiment around a bit. Good luck in getting you rown Aurora pictures.

P.S. I tried getting the banding again on my S40, but it only seems to be this apparent on long exposures at higher ASA. All my other pictures are fine. I heard that even the higher-end camers had the same banding problems at very high ASA (over 1200). Something to do with how the CCD is trying to gather light and make up for what it thinks is missing light. Maybe a software fix will be available in the future.
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