“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17)
Hallelujah! Praise God for providing a good geomagnetic storm that sparked some brilliant Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) over us here in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Aurorae are notoriously unpredictable, so capturing a great shot of an aurora is quite an exciting challenge for photographers (unless they live in Scandinavia). In the few days leading up to this storm I frequently checked my favorite aurora websites, www.spaceweather.com and www.aurora-service.net with great anticipation.
This photograph of the Aurora Australis was taken down from Goat’s Bluff on Hope Beach down South Arm, roughly a half hour southeast of Hobart, Tasmania.
I arrived on the beach at sunset and waited for the light to fade enough to capture the aurora, which unfortunately, peaked in the middle of our daylight hours. I kept doing test shots…nothing…nothing…nothing…for an hour and a half.
I had to be up early the next morning, so I debated whether or not I should call it quits and go home. But I decided to sit on the rocks a bit longer because it is a very rare night when the solar forecast lines up with the weather forecast, the work forecast and, most difficult of all, the babysitting forecast.
I was quite surprised I was all alone because South Arm is a relatively popular spot for aurora photographers to go. Then all of a sudden I saw the flicker of a torch approaching me. Another photographer set up a short distance away from me, and seeing there wasn’t an aurora to photograph, I decided to go over and say hello. The nice young man was a beginner photographer doing his first night shoot. He was ever so grateful that I was able to advise him on what lens to use and what camera settings to try.
As we were speaking, all of a sudden the Aurora Australis unexpectedly erupted on the horizon. It was clearly visible–in fact, spectacular–to our naked eyes! In awe we watched the brilliant aurora beams and bands dance across the night sky. Wow, wow, awesome, we both kept saying out loud. The new photographer was totally thrilled. This relatively spectacular show lasted about a half hour, and then it disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared.
God’s favor was totally upon us. We were the only ones out there to capture it. Many other photographers eventually made their way onto Goat’s Bluff over the next hour and a half (after which point I went home), but the brief and spectacular show was over; the aurora was gone. Not a single one of them saw or photographed what we did, and the aurora did not appear again for the rest of my time there.
I felt particularly blessed and favored by God to have captured these shots. Truly, God’s blessing and favor was also upon that beginning photographer on his first night shoot. He commented to me, “The shots I have captured tonight were far better than I possibly ever could have imagined.”
Whether that young man was a believer in Jesus or not, I don’t know, but his comment vividly reminded me of a Scripture in the Bible:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Thank you, God, so much, for doing more than we could have asked or imagined that night! All glory be to you for the beautiful Southern Lights you created to dance in the skies.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)
(See also, “Bushfire Aurora” (TASMANIA – Aurora Australis Tasmania and Night Photography Series) and “Aurora Australis Over Lighthouse Panorama” (TASMANIA – Aurora Australis Tasmania and Night Photography Series).)