This was the first aurora I photographed - in March 2013
As the digital camera picks up more aurora activity than the human eye can see we have been treated to a stronger visual image of the Aurora than we can often detect with our own eyes. I worry that the advent of digital photography and the easy access to seeing thousands of images of the Aurora from all over the northern hemisphere will affect our enjoyment and feeling of wonder when we see them with the naked eye. We begin to feel that the images we have seen are what the Aurora is - but in reality, certainly here at Treshnish as opposed to Iceland or Norway, it is very different.
Watching and looking for the Aurora has got me out of doors at night, and enjoying the night landscape. And learning a little bit more about night time moonlit photography.
Three nights ago, I photographed the faintest of Aurora, reds in a sparkling star lit sky, barely noticeable except as a glow over the sea. Still, I was out in the cold fresh night air, hearing the wind in the trees and watching the stars. Another magical moment but perhaps only because I have tempered my expectations.
This winter is going to have more aurora events than usual. The successful sighting obviously depends on a combination of a strong forecast for aurora activity and good clear skies to the north. Obviously that is really difficult to predict. Earlier in the week we had a strong aurora forecast coupled with reasonably clear skies but I couldn't see a thing.