Incredible shot of Palouse Falls made by my friend +Jacob Lucas.
An Astral Concerto

When I left Seattle on Friday afternoon bound for Palouse, I had no idea what to expect. I'd never shot at this location before, and I'd never scouted it ahead of visiting there. I was going in blind... and I was honestly pretty excited about it. There's a lot to be said for shooting on the edge of your seat and really challenging yourself to see what you can come up with.

+Rod Hoekstra and +Nitin Kansal, my shooting cohorts for the weekend, realised the time as we left Seattle. While I was snoozing comfortably in the back seat of the car, they'd decided it'd be a great idea if we just gunned it out there without stopping, so we could make it to Palouse Falls in time to shoot sunset. I didn't mind at all, it just meant more great light for me shooting a location I'd never shot before.

My one hope though, was to capture some star trails above the falls at night. The weather forecast was actually pretty grim... somewhat overcast to partly cloudy. The chance of being able to shoot some star trails wasn't great. We went out there anyway. All the weather reports in the world couldn't possibly have forecast what was going to happen that night.

100% clear skies.

Shooting stars.

Fully visible Milky Way across the night sky.

And lastly but by no means least... a glimmer of the Aurora Borealis. Wait... the what?!

At one stage, I called over to Rod thinking that there was something wrong with my rental camera. I looked at a three minute exposure and noticed a green tinge. "Hey Rod, I think my camera's busted... there's this green haze on my image". Rod noticed it too. I shot a 30 second exposure, and realised what was going on. It's a very rare event to see the Aurora Borealis as far South as Washington state, let alone finding a clear night on which to witness it. It was all a bit surreal and a little comedic, I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing in front of me and through my camera.

I had my fisheye lens on to capture the Milky Way sprawling across the night sky and to accentuate the curve of the galaxy in the sky. Once I noticed the aurora, the three of us began to paint light on the falls below with some powerful torches we'd brought along. I couldn't have hoped for a better result from this image. Truly, a concerto of astrological events all in one frame. I would never have dreamed of expecting this!

I can't help but marvel at what's out there. I really did get a first-hand, true feeling of the sense of scale that our universe has. I'm still floored when I think about it.

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#Palouse   #Photography   #AuroraBorealis   #PlusPhotoExtract  
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