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Crescendo by ColinHSillerud Crescendo by ColinHSillerud
Water freezes to the edge of this northern lake. Then the water level falls, causing the ice to be suspended in air. The cycle repeats, leaving the icicles hanging and fragile.

I cannot touch the ice or my photo will fracture. Like a cat, I sneak out on all fours, balancing on needle rocks that puncture my jacket. Elbows cut, down feathers escape from my sleeves.

The aurora starts as a single jade beam in the north, hanging across the sky, immobile, alien.

The beam, as a conductor, commands stillness. Slowly, it separates into two - the conductor raises his arms. He taps the podium - a shudder, a ripple traces the beam and my spine.

Two more beams now. Texture forms as a constant undulation with the conductor’s building movements.

Then, abruptly, the Maestro throws his arms wide and the beam explodes, covering the sky. Greens writhe and coil; purple licks the edges. Whirlpools tumble overhead. The souls of the mountain gods flame on the horizon.

The aurora fractures as diamonds through breeze-blown tears. I am sad I cannot see the whole sky at once.

Technique: To shoot the foreground in this low light, I took eleven 30 second exposures @ 2.8 iso 1000, all focused at different points to achieve full depth. Then I shot the sky at 6 seconds at iso 4000. I shot the sky faster to retain texture in the aurora.
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:iconnudibranch182:
Nudibranch182 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Professional Photographer
stunning
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:iconancoben:
ancoben Featured By Owner May 26, 2014
Amazing
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:iconindiealternativerock:
IndieAlternativeRock Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank-you for allowing dxSkiesOfTheNightxb to feature your picture! :)
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:iconannabre7:
annabre7 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow, what a spectacular natual phenomenum! I am so glad you shared this with us !
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thank you and you're welcome :)
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:iconshadowkey392:
Shadowkey392 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Okay, this is just amazing.
Reply
:iconwnaturalism:
WNaturalism Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
One of the best!!! Really charming north fairy tale!!! Perfect composition and perspective!!! :sun:   I'm amazed - i love it:heart:
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:iconsethyel:
Sethyel Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Pouahhh !!! Incredible !!!
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconxandimus:
Xandimus Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013   General Artist
that's some use of green!
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013  Professional Photographer
The whole world was green!  I saw green for weeks after returning to civilization. 
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:iconxandimus:
Xandimus Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013   General Artist
bet you so glad 2b back!
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
glad and bummed.  i would go back there in a second.
Reply
:iconxandimus:
Xandimus Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013   General Artist
hehe!
Reply
:iconvampyreangel87:
VampyreAngel87 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013
This is not only an amazing photo but your story beneath it drew me in, painting a vivid image in my mind. I loved both. You are very talented sir. :)
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Professional Photographer
thanks very much :)
Reply
:iconvampyreangel87:
VampyreAngel87 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
You are very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconmiketeagan:
miketeagan Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing work.
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Professional Photographer
thanks!
Reply
:iconemilvandernilsson:
EmilVanDerNilsson Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Gorgeous colors.
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconalkraas:
Alkraas Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is truly breathtaking! :o
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconjustingsinclair:
JustinGSinclair Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Student Photographer
Amazing.....
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconswaeli:
swaeli Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Student Photographer
Like I will and always say... marvelous, unique and precious !
Reply
:iconsomerrocks:
somerrocks Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
brilliant the wya you described this was truly outstanding if only i culd see this brilliant aurora as it took its breath and leap into life as you did that night...truly outstanding. truly this is a sight worth any journey.
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thank you :)! The journey was fun too.
Reply
:iconsomerrocks:
somerrocks Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yep the joy is in the journey!
Reply
:icondoodlebugrp:
doodlebugRP Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Student
I'm in awe. I will go see the aurora this bright someday. The visual equivalent of of an entire orchestra...
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Professional Photographer
It was an orchestra. That is actually how I described it in my blog of the event. Unfortunately, I still have one or two pages to write on that story so it isn't posted quite yet.
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:iconkronnick:
KronnicK Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013
so beautiful!
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
:)!
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:iconkenny-gulley:
Kenny-Gulley Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Did you then combine the shots?
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
Yes. The foreground I combined using masks and auto align in PS and then I masked in the sky.
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:iconkenny-gulley:
Kenny-Gulley Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
awesome :) thank you Colin, great work. Truly.
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:iconyentl-star:
Yentl-Star Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Student Digital Artist
OMG
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconnicholasgaunt:
nicholasGaunt Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
breathtaking, I must say.
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
It is a wild experience.
Reply
:iconpartial-credit:
Partial-Credit Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is breath-taking!
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
:)!
Reply
:iconrandini116:
randini116 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Bad .. TO THE BONE!! TO THE B O N E !
Reply
:icontanager:
Tanager Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
WOW just WOW WOW. This is the view of a lifetime. I love the little swirl in the top corner - a'la "starry night"
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:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
We waited days for the right conditions. Then all day it was cloudy and my friend just wandered all over stamping his feet and yelling how upset he was that we were not going to be able to shoot this. Then, just at dark, the sky cleared, the lights started, and the rest is history :).
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:iconmscrys:
MsCrys Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
Even better than the photo itself is the way you flowed the beauty of the moment into words. I've never in all my years of DeviantART (active as a photographer or not) come across someone describe it as you have here.

Beautiful imagery aside, I will be returning for your words time and time again. Please, (almost begging here!), keep writing....and shooting. :)
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:icondespairingdoe:
DespairingDoe Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012

:star:Your wonderful photograph has been featured here [link].

Best regards,

~DespairingDoe

--

:iconthose-lovely-lights:
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:iconmarshalllipp:
MarshallLipp Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Professional Photographer
Absolutely amazing! I think the ice is my favorite part
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:iconsegura2112:
segura2112 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This piece is stunning. (Your words and the picture are one piece) Thank You
~~~~~~~~~~~
Order and Chaos are the left and right hands of God.
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:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 18, 2012  Professional Photographer
Perfection!
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Details

Submitted on
November 27, 2011
Image Size
329 KB
Resolution
578×852
Submitted with
Sta.sh
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Views
6,344
Favourites
745 (who?)
Comments
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162

Camera Data

Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D700
Shutter Speed
15/1 second
Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
14 mm
ISO Speed
3200
Date Taken
Oct 4, 2011, 3:30:23 AM
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
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