In March of 2023 I went with the excellent Steve Bell and two other very amiable fellow photographers to the Lofoten Islands on the far North Western tip of Norway. This was a trip that had been planned for 2 years, and was designed to coincide with a forecasted peak in aurora activity.

The problem with photographing auroras is that a good aurora has to coincide with a clear night sky for any decent shots to be obtained. For the first 5 days of our 8 day stay we got either good weather or good aurora activity, but never both. However the vastly experienced Steve B was convinced our time would come, and indeed it did on the night of 23 March 2023. That night in Lofoten was one of the greatest aurora displays of the past decade, and certainly I never expect to see anything like it again. What I hadn’t expected was how fast things changed, as huge light displays across hundreds of kilometres of the night sky would suddenly appear, all around us, to be rapidly replaced by something else in a different direction.

I used my Olympus OM1 for all these shots, and it fulfilled its promise as an excellent night sky camera. Features like auto focus against night stars, and enhanced night vision were absolutely essential for quick selection and capturing of the best aurora displays. This was my first ever aurora night sky trip, and one of my first ever night sky sessions, so the camera really had to help me here, and it did. In terms of how these photos look, unlike static night sky shots like the Milky Way, where many shots are taken and combined to reduce the noise, aurora photographs are single shot images because the content moves so fast. I used On1 Photo Raw which is normal "non-astro" software. I set the colour balance to obtain a dark blue night sky background and enhanced large details in the aurora areas, and all the colours you see fall out of those settings. I took 300 keepers that night, and I present the best 30 or so here. I hope you like them.

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