During the early morning of June 17, 2012, by pure coincidence, I had an amazing opportunity to witness and photograph the Aurora Borealis over Crater Lake. Capturing this famous light show has been a dream of mine for several years, but I could not have imagined the lights showing up in my own backyard! Soon after shooting the rising Milky Way towards the southeast, I climbed in my car and drove through the mosquito infested darkness, towards the other side of Crater Lake. I was making an attempt to capture Polaris above Wizard Island jetting up from the crater. After setting up near the Rim Village Visitor Center lookout area, I began to notice a faint band of moving light slowly making its way from behind the Watchman Tower, around 1:30am. My camera began picking up bright pink bursts of light towards the north, with what also looked like unfamiliar vertical bands of light stretching upwards from the horizon. I quickly changed my camera’s white balance to confirm I was not picking up some random light pollution, or hallucinating in my drowsy state. Following additional exposures, I came up with the same amazing results. Fortunately, my phone had just enough cell service, enabling me to quickly check Twitter for real time information from @Aurora_Alerts . The alert stated, “In 47 minutes the Aurora Borealis should be at ‘STORM’ LEVEL! It’s On!! 6.33 Kp.” I couldn’t believe it. I had confirmation the Aurora Borealis was making her grand appearance on my side of the globe! The magical shifting scene continued until sunrise, and like most days in the wilderness, I was awed and humbled by true nature personified.
From my latest time-lapse video, “Within Two Worlds”. Click HERE to see it.
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