Thursday, July 24, 2008

My fingers are getting cold

Auroras over Crater Hill.

A friend wanted to have a silhouetted photo taken of him and his friend with the Milky Way and Clouds of Magellan in the background. I was having more and more success with getting the photos I wanted from the night sky, so I figured I'd give it a go.

Auroras from one side to the other.

After watching a great travelogue on climbing Kilimanjaro, I got the page that tonight was the night to go. The skies were clear and the full moon was gone. I checked the weather and it was -35F with a -60F wind chill. I dressed up in my warmest gear and opened hand warmers before I even left the room. We went the back way up the Ridge loop to a dark spot near the RaySat golf ball. Once there, I was pleasantly surprised to see auroras illuminating the sky from one horizon to the other. Amazing! I got those guys to stand still for thirty seconds while I got a quick picture and almost as soon as I was done with that, the auroras started to fade.

More great auroras.

Luckily, the auroras came back and continued to put on a great show for my friends while I messed around with my camera and tripod to get everything set up. Messing around with my camera means taking off my gloves, sometimes sitting on the ground to get the right angle, and handling the metal lens, metal camera, and metal tripod with just a very thin liner on. My hands just get colder and colder the longer I am out there. I think I was only shooting photos for an hour, but I don't know another time when my hands have been so cold.

Silhouettes watching the Milky Way.

When I returned to my room, my hands warmed up quickly in hot water. It took my feet an hour in bed to feel warm again. The tips of my fingers were still super sensitive in the morning. I'm guessing that I got a little frost nip from handling my metal camera so much. I just don't know another way to do it right now. I do know I'm having a fabulous week, but I'm kind of sick of being cold right now. Current temperature as I write this: -33F.

That is me figuring out a new trick which hopefully you'll get to see soon.

1 comment:

  1. hooray for more auroras. :-) i don't think i can ever get tired of seeing them.