As we missed the Strong Aurora activity on New Years Eve, Kathryn and myself were dying to try see the next one. We decided that going to Mayo was a much better choice as it was further up the country and because of that opened up several coastal areas that wouldn’t be options in Limerick. We waited for a day (Thursday 7th) when both strong activity and clear weather were predicted. The Christmas decorations needed to be taken down anyway, so it wouldn’t be a wasted trip.
I had been wanting to try out the Nightlapse feature on my GoPro Hero 4 Silver for some time. I thought it might be good for the Aurora, but realistically, if we did see it, it would only be a green twinge in the sky and the GoPro wouldn’t pick up much else. It may also distract me from tasking pictures with my Sony a6000 – divided attention you know? Because of this I decided to try out the Nightlapse functionality out the back pointing towards Knock Airport. As you can see, it was quite a cloudy evening with clear stretches.
We decided Strandhill would be a good spot to see the Aurora. Since it as a no show we thought we may as well go and do some Astrophotography. A few miles into the journey we realized we were driving straight into a massive cloud front so decided to abandon that trip. I thought it was pointless to drive an hour only to have to turn around because it was too cloudy to do anything!
I was having trouble sleeping that night. I got restless and decided to look out the window. There were a lot of stars showing. I got dressed and headed out to try a new technique. Exposure stacking is where you get many different exposures of the same scene and stack them using a median filter to reduce noise. However, clouds started to come in so my images aren’t really appropriate for exposure stacking. Next time I guess! Below is a single exposure to illustrate my point.
Back in Limerick, it was a cool, clear evening (Friday 8th). I thought why not at least try the Nightlapse out. See what sort of results I that would be achievable in an area with much more light pollution. As there was much more light, I halved the shutter speed. The results were fairly decent. Obviously, as it was my first time trying out the Nightlapse, I’d expect better results in the future!