Photo of the Day Contest
Midnight Magic by Marc Adamus
Wednesday, 8th December 2010

Midnight Magic

by Marc Adamus

This Aurora show was captured in the northern Ogilvie Mountains, Yukon Territory, Canada in late October. The temperature this especially cold night was in the -10's and the rivers were freezing, leaving streaks behind as chunks of ice floated by and emitting a faint mist (which wreaks havoc on ones lens at -15F) that added to the scene. The photograph is a blend of three exposures for the depth of field needed at f/2.8 and one additional exposure for the sky. The landscape exposures were all at 20 seconds and the sky was taken at 10 seconds, about as long as you can get away with if you want to record some of the textures and details in the ever-shifting lights. I photographed the scene for about four hours, marveling at the displays. I can tell you honestly no photograph you will ever see or take of the lights captures one tenth of their beauty, but this was my best attempt in the few chances I've had.
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon 14-24 with V3 adapter
Marc Adamus
I am a professional landscape photographer based in the Northwest US. My love in life is wilderness. I enjoy having the opportunity to bring my experiences in nature to you through my photography.

Midnight Magic by Marc Adamus was photo of the day on Wednesday, 8th December 2010. It is tagged , , . You can leave a comment below.



8th December 2010 at 1:36 am

Wow. Great shot. I love the sky

8th December 2010 at 3:01 am

I love this image. Amazing composition and nice colors.

8th December 2010 at 3:39 am

What one will do to persue ones passion! Below zero tempratures and all but it sure was worth it. So thanks for letting us see the results of your labor.


8th December 2010 at 6:57 am

Unbelieveable rhythms. Masterful composition. The sky, is but a mirror!

8th December 2010 at 7:25 am

Congrats Marc! A no brainer choice, it’s a stunning image!

8th December 2010 at 8:17 am

Amazing shot Marc! Are you on flickr or facebook? I wanna follow your work!!!


8th December 2010 at 8:17 am

Awesome composition. I love!


8th December 2010 at 8:23 am

I love this picture,its beautiful…it looks as if your getting a glimpse of heaven above…

8th December 2010 at 8:30 am

What a phenomena! That’s a great photographic art, indeed! Great!

8th December 2010 at 9:17 am

Wow! Simply great! This is really work of the Master!

8th December 2010 at 9:35 am

Your efforts were rewarded here; this is a really good shot; thanks for sharing it with us.

8th December 2010 at 9:46 am

Great photo Marc. I know your works from many years. For my landscapes I’m inspired by them.
It’s an honor for me that my photo is next to yours on this web site.


8th December 2010 at 9:50 am

Have always wanted to see The Northern Lights and this whets the appetite still further. Really well balanced image. Your explanation of how you took the photograph is appreciated. Yet again it was worth getting cold to capture such a treasure.

8th December 2010 at 9:54 am

what a fabulous image, I love that there is also the reflection of the coloour in the river, it’s pure magic.

8th December 2010 at 12:15 pm

Even tho I understand what you are saying about not being able to capture the beauty of the experience, this is still a wonderful shot. Thank you also for your explaining how you captured it.

8th December 2010 at 12:39 pm

Stunning Aurora shot Marc and a very succesfull captured. Perfect compo which is one of the trickiest part of Aurora photography to get in the dark of the night. Thanks for detailing the technique you used. I have found out that shutter speeds should be disproportionate to the Aurora activity and going down to 4-6 sec during peak activity. I am glad to see that you have the same gear setup as me. The nikon wide angles perform much better under these conditions than the canons.

8th December 2010 at 12:41 pm


8th December 2010 at 12:59 pm



8th December 2010 at 2:14 pm

Love this shot! I am putting a trip to Northern Canada on my bucket list to see sites like this first hand. “inspiring!”

Roxy Johnstone

8th December 2010 at 2:41 pm

I have lived in Alaska for five years and my most outstanding memory is the Northern Lights, as we called them then. Undulating, iridescent, sparkling, dancing ribbons across the sky. You have been able to capture the movement in your photo, which is the most breathtaking part of watching them. Altho you are right, a photo could never do nature’s light show justice! Never mind that, this photo is magnificent.! Thank you for all your winter shots on your website; you are giving us images that the great majority of the people on the planet will never see in person!


8th December 2010 at 2:58 pm

Great shot. A shame it has to be composite to come out this well.

Marie Dunphy Harding

8th December 2010 at 3:10 pm

An exceptional show! Thank you for your endurance, it was worth it!

8th December 2010 at 4:22 pm

as always its a pleasure to see your impressive work!
I love the composition and atmosphere this photograph leaves behind!


8th December 2010 at 5:12 pm

I think you were born to capture this moment in time. Did you feel like you were standing on holy ground when you found this?

8th December 2010 at 5:34 pm

It is stunning! I love the colors. And that you were able to be out in the cold for so long to get the shot – what dedication :)


8th December 2010 at 6:20 pm

Stunning! Ineffable!


8th December 2010 at 7:34 pm

Whoa! Talk about Nature’s night light! What gorgeous colors you’ve captured – phenomenal! Congrats!

8th December 2010 at 7:45 pm

This is without a doubt the best photo I have seen in quite some time! Beautiful work.

8th December 2010 at 7:57 pm

I am going to get you a T-Shirt with a big S on it!! SUPERMAN !!!! Marc I know the story behind this trip. You are one driven guy! I cannot wait to head back up there next year!!!

May Haga

8th December 2010 at 8:51 pm

A very amazing capture Marc.


8th December 2010 at 8:54 pm



8th December 2010 at 10:34 pm

Truly amazing!!! I can’t tear myself away! Thank you very much.

Robert Griggs

8th December 2010 at 11:58 pm

Great picture, thank you for sharing this natural beauty with us!


9th December 2010 at 4:19 pm

Oh this is beautiful, sure would love to see this in person.

Mary Ann

9th December 2010 at 5:05 pm

Amazing! Sparks the imagination! Thanks!

10th December 2010 at 12:02 am

Thanks all for your generous comments. I’m honored.

10th December 2010 at 5:28 am

Amazing! Stellar image. Probably the best I’ve seen of the Aurora Borealis. The mountains and treetops under the sky, and the ice floes and reflections in the foreground, add so much, elementally to this image. I feel as if I’m actually seeing it the way you saw it. Not just a picture of the lights. You’ve captured the entire Vista.
I can feel it too.
Thanks so much for sharing, and congratulations on POTD! This is POTY in my opinion.
Thanks for weather and technical details.
Excellent, excellence!

Patrice R.

10th December 2010 at 4:30 pm

Positively breathtaking.. thank you so much for posting!


12th December 2010 at 4:32 am

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is an awesome picture. iTS RADICAL DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8)

15th December 2010 at 10:40 am

Oh wow – that is just the most brilliant capture – love that colour and a great sense of movement with the lights :-) )) love this

20th December 2010 at 7:17 am

Hello Marc,
This is such a OUTSTANDING IMAGE you made!!!! My GOD! It is like I am standing right beside you- WOWOW! The most spectacular shot I ‘ve ever seen… And I thought Niagara Falls images were ‘out of this world’…. truly a LANDSCAPE MASTERPIECE!!
Thanks for your for bringing us with you!
Smiling, Christine


22nd December 2010 at 12:41 pm

Amazing beauty. I loved your description and the explanation of your technique. Congratulations on the great results of your efforts in such cold weather.

26th December 2010 at 6:35 pm

I had to re-visit your beautiful image you made Marc…. simply stunning!!

Smiling again,

Mario Fiorucci

3rd January 2011 at 4:43 pm

A very amazing capture, Congratulations

Regards from Argentina

dee ewing

13th January 2015 at 11:42 am

What an awesome picture.

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