Rustic Cabin and the Aurora
I have a cabin in the Alaska Range mountains, which is nestled amongst spruce trees and beautifully flanked by snow covered mountains. I made my first trip to this area when I was 18 years old and am so grateful to still make such ventures 34 years later! Abundant snow in the area made for some great skiing and exploration. Clear skies and a little northern lights action made for some classic photography of rustic cabin life.
Challenges of Aurora photography
Aurora photography, of all the photography that I do, is the most challenging. This is true from a technical and creative perspective. While I’ve got the technical aspects pretty much down after years of doing it, there are the perpetual creative challenges of working in the dark, managing foregrounds, composing in tight situations with wide angle lenses, being careful of overly distorted views, and deciding what to include as well as what to exclude. Then finally, when I sit down at a computer in a warm office and start reviewing the pictures I inevitably say to myself, why didn’t I move this, or change that, or do some other thing. But that is a healthy learning curve to ride upon. This is one reason that multiple visits to the same location can benefit from round-two modifications. And I’ve got plenty on deck for this scene!
Using Lightroom for Panorama Creation
On this night, I took one panorama sweep of 3 pictures to be merged them together in Lightroom CC. The beauty of using Lightroom CC to do this merging process is that it maintains the combined 3 file image as a DNG and offers all the development modifications intrinsic to a RAW file.
Because photographing the aurora often involves the use of an ultra wide angle lens (in this case, a 15mm focal length), combining several images can provide enough “extra space” for making perspective corrections and minimizing the distortion of objects. In this case, the cabin.