The aurora appeared early and intense on this long winter night with beautiful displays visible by 8:30 in the evening. After wave after wave of beautiful activity, things seemed to die down around 1:30 in the morning. But it was around 4:00 a.m. when things began to get really interesting. It was magic time.
The reds first began to form in the west and quickly moved overhead. Tall rays could be seen to reach up and converge at the zenith in a tremendous colorful crowning display that resembled a huge bird. This incredible sight lasted about 20 minutes - long by aurora standards where a thing of this beauty might only last long enought to get one or two shots. I was able to get several as it slowly changed shape waving and undulating across the entire sky spanning West to East.
Eventually, the red color moved on into the eastern sky before its gradual fade into memory. "Wow!" was all that I could say to this fantastic display.
All this took place only 30 steps out my front door but I had no Idea at the time how far it would take me. I entered the image into an international contest and evntually was awarded the top honor. This was an all expenses paid trip to the Andoya Rocket Range, located on a island off the northwest coast of Norway. It is here that I discovered many wonderful people who were just as excited about the aurora as I am. But instead of pointing cameras at the aurora, as I chose to do, these folks pointed rockets at it. I could recognize that same twinkle in their eyes as they proudly talked of their rockets and the launches. Boys with toys.
I used a home-built medium format camera equipped with a 38mm wide angle lens and Kodak E100G film to record the moment.
This image is availible in the following sizes: 5x7, 6x9, 8x12, 11x15, 12x18
It is also availible in the following panoramic sizes: 6x12, 8x16, and 13x26