9/27/2011 Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights over Lake Osakis - Osakis, MN

A little late on the posting but I was up all night and into the afternoon yesterday for another 24+ hours after staying up all night to wait for the Auroras.

The cloud cover was pretty bad around Saint Cloud, MN so I drove up to an alternate location that I had been wanting to try and document the Northern Lights, which was at the south end of Lake Osakis in Osakis, MN.

I was a little on edge about shooting the Auroras over the lake since the last time I tried it the lights from the homes on the northeast part of the lake were so bright that it blew out the images.  So I attempted to document the Auroras a few miles down off of County Road 51 and 150th Street on what I thought was a dark and lonely dirt road where from 1:00 am to 3:00 am would be vacant.

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights over Lake Osakis in Osakis, MN

Since there is always a story behind the photography, here is the story for that night.  I did have one person stop and ask what I was doing and they looked at me like I was from out of this world when I told them "Astro Photography".  About a half hour later, I got a visit from one of the sheriff deputies that got a call from the guy that stopped before who turned out to be an off duty officer that thought what I was doing was kind of odd.  Well anyone that chases storms I guess is kind of odd but anyway the deputy was pretty cool and said he had to come check it out.  He said as soon as he saw me he figured that anyone standing out on the side of a dirt road in the dark with a tripod and camera pointed up at the stars, while wearing a reflective vest, with the parking lights on was no problem.  The photograph above was from 150th street. 

As soon as the deputy and I got done talking about the space weather and the chance of auroras for the night, it seemed as if the sky started to come alive.

I stayed at this location for a few minutes taking some photographs but something was telling me that I needed to move, so I packed up everything and drove a mile to the north to check out the view from the public beach at the south end of Lake Osakis and that's when the lights really came alive just after 2:30 in the morning.

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights over Lake Osakis in Osakis, MN

The photograph above is from the public beach at the south end of Lake Osakis.  The photo is a timed exposure with the shutter open for several seconds so it does show some movement of the swimming buoy's in the water. 

Since the light from the parking lot at the beach was interfering a little with the shots and casting a shadow, I moved down the road until I found a spot where there was a spot that I could setup the camera without getting an empty boat dock in the shot.  

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights over Lake Osakis, MN

The light show lasted about an hour and one of the parting shots I was able to get was this dock.  I setup the camera low on the tripod from the edge of the road and zoomed in to get this shot of a dock with the lights over Osakis, MN.  I wanted to try and do a timed shot sitting on the dock but also did not want to have the Sheriff pay me another visit again for actually breaking the law and trespassing.

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights over Lake Osakis in Osakis, MN

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