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It is a strange feeling hiking a half-mile out on a pier half-asleep in the middle of the night in almost complete darkness, especially when the sky appears to be otherworldly as you go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So into the night I hike out onto the Ludington South Breakwater until reaching the spot I had previsualized. As I had hoped, the waves are not too big for me to safely get near the South Breakwater Light. It is cold and windy but I am not cold anymore. All I can think about is getting this shot before Aurora’s magic show diminishes. I quickly set the tripod up for an insurance shot, not certain yet of focus and exposure. Thirty seconds later, at 2:41 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, 2012, I analyze the results of my insurance/test shot. It looks sharp and the horizon line is straight, which can be tough to determine in the dark. I make two more identically composed shots over the next 10 minutes. My exposure is better on both of them but the Northern Lights are not dancing near as intensely. Thank God I quickly made that insurance shot; the other shots, although better technically, do not look nearly as out of this world. Thanks also to our Silver Lake photography friend Louise Olson for alerting us by Facebook that she was seeing the lights. What a spectacular start to our shooting day on this 17th Tuesday of “Tuesdays with Todd and Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute.” F4.5 at 30 seconds, ISO 800, 14-24mm lens at 18mm

Auroras Magic


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