Manitoba’s Northern Lights are Amazing!

After numerous failed attempts, patience paid off as I finally got to capture the Northern Lights once again. With the recent strong showings of Aurora Borealis, luck had not been on my side to capture them. Each time I went to capture them, strong clouds blew in wiping them out from the night sky.

But this time would be different.

The Northern Lights are an incredible natural light show typically resulting in beautiful green dancing light across the night sky. The Northern Lights are the result of a collision between gaseous particles in the atmosphere and charged particles from the Sun’s atmosphere. For more info, check out the Northern Lights Centre webpage.

For photographing the Northern Lights, you need a good low light camera and a tripod. The photos on this page were all taken on the same evening. It was a new moon resulting in a total dark sky; perfect for photos.

Alexander Ridge Park

Alexander Park northern lights

Starting at Alexander Ridge Park, I took a few silhouettes of the trees against the beautiful Aurora Borealis. This was shot at ISO 1600, 27mm, 5 second shutter speed, F4.0.

trees northern lights

This was shot at ISO 1600, 17mm, 4 second shutter speed, F4.0.

I then brought in the light tower as my subject.

Alexander Park northern lights

To light up the lookout tower, I used my flashlight to the left of the frame. I flagged it to prevent spill on the ground and very quickly flashed the tower to give it some much needed light.

This was shot at ISO 1600, 17mm, 4 second shutter speed, F4.0.

Opawaka Church

From here, I went to the Opawaka Church for a few photos. The Northern Lights had decreased in visibility but I used the same technique as above to give a little light to the old Church.

Opawaka Church northern lights

This was also shot at ISO 1600, 17mm, 4 second shutter speed, F4.0. Probably should have added another few seconds to let more sky light in.

The Old Barn

Not far from Rosebank lies a beautiful old barn. I received permission to shoot here and had the idea to do some star trails. I light painted the building as I normally do, and first took several shots of the night sky to later stack for better clarity.

Old barn northern lights

This was a mixture of exposures for the foreground, the sky, and the building.

I setup an intervalometer to let me capture exposures over a long period of time. The sky frames ended up being 3 minutes long, ISO 1250, F4.0 and 17mm. When I started this sequence, the Northern Lights weren’t even showing. What an awesome surprise to see once I processed the image! This is one of my favourite images yet.

old barn star trails

Thanks for checking out my work!

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