I have tried a few times previously to photograph the aurora borealis, the northern lights. However my timing has been wrong, either too late or there has been cloud cover. However on Wednesday night when I received an alert (from AuroraWatch) and realised the night sky was clear I thought I would give it another try.
So several layers of warm clothing later, I headed to a spot on Loch Leven where I reckoned I would get a good shot - if the aurora appeared as hoped. Several other photographers had the same idea - a few ideas and stories of previous failed attempts were swapped. There was a faint glow in the sky to the naked eye, but promisingly it appeared as a green bow on the camera's rear screen.
However the green bow appeared static for a long time and people were getting cold. So it was no surprise when they packed up their cameras and tripods and left. Five minutes later, while standing chatting to the only other photographer left (John), we suddenly saw movement in the sky. The show was starting!
Fortunately my camera was still set up, so I could start capturing the amazing display straight away, although a few adjustments were required to get the exposure and composition right. John on the other hand had been about to leave, so he had to set up from scratch again! But I was only interested in capturing the wonderful display - particularly spectacular for me as I had never seen it before.
And a few minutes later, we heard running footsteps accompanied by head torches flashing through the trees - the other photographers coming back at speed! The display lasted 25 minutes although it seemed far shorter, so they didn't miss out entirely.
So what did I manage to get? Here is a selection; the portrait format shot was the first one of the display.