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© Jill Waterman, Aurora Borealis
Camera: Nikon F3HP, Lens: 28mm, 1:2.8, Aperture: about f/5.6
Exposure: about 1 minute, Film: Fujichrome Velvia 100


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Image caption: A high ISO rating and a fast shutter speed are strongly recommended for shooting the aurora, but 100-speed slide film was the only film available when the phenomena appeared during a visit to Iceland. A full moon brightened this beachfront scene, but exposure was still tricky to estimate. Past experience dictated at least a minute to record the scene on film adequately, and this risked reducing the phenomena to a blur. After framing the shot with the aurora present, the photographer waited for it to dissipate. Once the phenomena had calmed, the exposure was started to record the background landscape. After a minute it reappeared in full force, and the exposure was stopped at that instant. This example demonstrates that established recommendations are only a starting point and that close observation and a bit of creative thinking are equally important to successful image making at night.

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