Saturday, May 11, 2024

The aurora comes to the north

London, ON
May 2024
This photo originally shared on Instagram

At 10:43 on a Friday night, 24,000 feet above our heads, an Aeromexico 737-800 descends through electric skies on its way to Toronto.

My shutter is open for 6 seconds, capturing the plane’s blinking lights as it covers the final 200 or so km of its journey from Mexico City.

On-board, I like to imagine at least some of the 180-ish souls are peering out the windows in awe as the planet’s strongest solar storm in 20 years lashes the atmosphere with pulsing waves of glowing electromagnetic energy. I hope they’re feeling as much wonder as my wife and I are feeling way down here on the ground.

We’ve walked over to a nearby park to find some workable darkness. A scene that first presents itself as dull. wispy lines in the sky seems to come alive when we view it through the camera, as if the combination of glass, pixels, and algorithmic goodness adds its own dose of magic on top of the celestial kind that’s drawn millions of people from their homes on this memorable night.

As much as I strive to get the shot, I’m strangely feeling no pressure to do so. Everyone and their dog seems to be shooting and sharing on social media, and as it was during the recent solar eclipse, it occurs to me that I’m not a follow-the-crowd kind of photographer.

No, the reward here isn’t something that translates well into an Instagram post. It’s time with her that I seek, another indelible moment in a lifetime of them where I get to experience something unique through her eyes, listen to her sense of wonder, talk about it excitedly as we pack up and head back home.

There’s no photo of any of that, no pixellated memory of a moment that’ll exist far more vividly in my mind than I could ever capture through glass.

As we turn for home, I count myself lucky that I get to share this experience with her. And I hope the folks on that now-long-gone plane - and in the park, and alongside country roads throughout the region - are also with someone who matters.

Because everything is better when you’re with someone who gets it. Who gets you.

Maybe next time our adventures will involve the sun. Or not. Doesn’t really matter. If I’m with her, I’m good.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #aurora #borealis #northernlights #solar #optimistpark #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Eclipsed, August 2007

1 comment:

kenju said...

Beautiful photo! I am hoping to see the Northern Lights soon, too!