Photography Side Quest Comes Home

Something extra extraordinary happened the night of 5/10-511.

The Northern Lights were seen as far south as Alabama.

We earthlings experienced a category 5 Geomagnetic storm. The Kp index was 9, and the Bz was a negative 46. We survived due to the Van Allen belts.

All this was a fancy way of saying the sun just burped a ton of energy at the earth and the earth survived and got a pretty light show for our trouble.

For some photographers, photographing the aurora is a life quest. Photographing the aurora from your home state, and your home state doesn’t touch Canada, is amazing. Finally photographing the aurora in the densest state in the US, with the largest amount of light pollution (NYC next door), dense cloud cover, and from your front yard, well, that would be nearly impossible.

For 30 seconds it all came together at about 1030pm on Friday, May 10th.

The app on my phone pings me to say that the Kp was 9 (highest level) and that the clouds had cleared!

I jumped up, grabbed my Nikon and the 14-24mm and the tripod and ran outside. I could have cried! The clouds had broken and there were the lights, above my head, in New Jersey!

I know this doesn’t have anything to do with weddings or parties – but it’s something that gives me awe. And I wanted to share.

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