Monday, March 3, 2014

Aurora Fail

A few weeks back, the news lit up with reports of a massive solar flare that was racing towards Earth and was sure to generate some all-time aurora borealis. The logical reaction to this news was to head to the darkest spot in my Rolodex - the Black Rock Desert - and to hope for the best.

The Lights have been seen this far south before, but it takes strong plasma action and dark skies to have a chance. Unfortunately, we were greeted with cloudy skies, and unbeknownst to us, the storm of charged particles that makes the sky pretty had diminished in strength somewhere between the Sun and Earth. Turns out these are difficult things to predict.

Also, it was cold and windy, so we spent a lot of time relaxing in the car, waiting for the show that was never to happen.

Just another show from the moon in our barren paradise

Of course, there are far worse places to be, so while Ethel snoozed in the back, Stefan and I screwed around a little bit outside. Gotta make the most of it, and we sure didn't drive that far to sit in the car ALL night.

Gazing upward

Ever being the opportunist, I had brought a metric shit-ton of camera gear, including lights (#neverleavehomewithoutalight), figuring that I'd have a shot at making some creatively-lit portraits of Murphy underneath some wispy green aurorae. Instead, Stefan got out his guitar and we made the cover art for his next rock album.

Stefan croons

For the technically-inclined among the seven of you, that's a single exposure with no photoshop trickery, and you can guess the rest.

We got back to Reno at the ungodly hour of 4am. Still made it to work by about 9. It was a big coffee day...

I may have to travel further to see this dang sky-show. As such, I'm currently accepting sponsorship solicitations for said trip :)


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