2 days ago
Aurora over Bo Fjord in Norway. From the archives. Swipe left to see the RAW file. 24 mm, f/1.4, 4 sec., ISO 6400. _______________________________________ I like the more exotic colors of the aurora. Someone even commented “you sure like red”, lol. They’re correct though. The most dominant colour is green, but do you know the aurora can be red, green, blue, ultraviolet, infrared, yellow, or pink? Since red, green, and blue are primary colors, combinations of these theoretically can create any colour. _____________________________________ So why are aurora photos mostly green? Well, green is the most common colour and brightest and can overwhelm everything else. But the other colours are frequently there, at least in my limited experience. I frequently get reds, yellows, pinks, and purples. So why do I seem to get these colours frequently? _______________________________________
Tip: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and maybe I’m lucky, but I also think 2 other things help. First, some of the more exotic colours are fainter, and I lighten these areas and do not black them out. The second reason has to do with colour itself. I try to show the reds in the aurora, which are pretty common, but low intensity. I see lots of aurora photos that heavily tend to the cyan or teal/turquoise colours of green. The green is pushed towards the cyan color. This can be spectacularly beautiful, but swipe left and take a look at image number 3 in the set above. The last image is the color balance sliders from Photoshop. Look at the cyan-red slider. When you increase cyan you decrease or take away red. Even pushing the green slider towards green (therefore boosting the greens) subtracts shades of magenta. Since the reds are frequently dim you can erase the subtle reds or magentas in the aurora if you add more green or push the greens towards a cyan hue. ______________________________________ In person the greens of the aurora look like an electric green or fluorescent green to me. I shoot at a white balance of 4000-4200K and don’t change the white balance or tint in post, hoping the preserve the exotic reds and purples. ______________________________________
RAW file included.