Maybe my luck with the auroras has changed. Last winter I seemed to miss them all the time, for different reasons, but last night I feel like I hit the jackpot! It was a stunning display and I had a great a location, there was new ice covering the lake, not a cloud in sight and it was almost completely calm, and on top of that there was an almost full moon lighting up the landscape. It was beyond awesome!

Actually, there is one more thing – I had a new 14mm lens to shoot it all with. I had hoped to get the Samyang 14/2.8 AF (yes, Samyang’s first autofocus lens!) before Iceland but that didn’t happen, and I actually didn’t miss it either – the aurora wasn’t on the agenda on that trip (I’ll write more about that another time). I got a text yesterday that the lens was waiting for pick-up, and since I didn’t have any other reasons to drive to ICA to get it, I was going to get it today for testing it this weekend. But when the aurora alerts started flooding my inbox, I quickly changed my mind, fetched the lens, unpacked it, checked where the infinity focus was and then I was off to Måns-Erstjärnen to shoot. Baptism by fire!

The green glow was pretty much everywhere, with a distinct pattern in the western horizon and some activity towards north. And then, without warning, just like auroras do – explosion of movement! There was an arc going in the southwest-northeast axis above my head, and the movement along this arc was so fast that it was impossible to shoot it, because by the time I had pointed my camera to one spectacular pattern, it had already moved elsewhere. The action lasted maybe 5 minutes, but the lights were still good in the northwest horizon. Finally when the bright pattern started fading, replaced by the steady green glow, I walked away. What a night!

I will write more about the lens when I’ve done some daytime shooting as well. But I really got this lens for night photography, and so far so good. 🙂

aurora and moon
This is part of the big arc, it’s a bit messy but I wanted to show the moonburst that the new lens produced. The blob next to the moon is not so nice, but this was shot at f3.5 and the burst effect is beautiful!
Part of the arc action in the southwest
The big arc gradually reduced into this one
Western horizon
The bright patterns are fading, replaced by green glow everywhere

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