Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! This post doesn’t really have anything to do with Father’s Day, BUT, it’s worth mentioning right up front. 🙂

Now to the picture. I’ve got photos from my last trip to Asia that I’m excited to share (starting next week), but before I do that, I wanted to share this photo I got on the way home. While I was in South Korea, my friend Jerod sent me a link to an article talking about flights to see the Aurora. It’s a neat idea, but for us here on the east coast, you might as well go to Iceland and see them there! However, on my flight home I got to thinking… it was the right time of year to see the Northern Lights (this was in March), and we’d be crossing over the north pole in the dark. Hmmmmm. Midway through the flight I decided to open my window on a whim, and lo and behold there they were!

I immediately grabbed my camera and started trying to capture the scene out my window… which as it turns out, is REALLY hard to do. Taking pictures in the dark generally means your camera shutter needs to stay open for quite a while to be able to “see” anything. Long shutter speeds mean you have to have a tripod to keep the camera steady… but I couldn’t exactly whip out my tripod and stand it up at my chair on the plane! I found that I could do about a 3 second exposure and get everything lit well, but that I meant I had to hold the camera perfectly still for 3 seconds, without a tripod, on a moving plane, all while crunched down trying to see out the window! LOL Lucky for me, the display lasted for probably 30 minutes or so before the sky go too bright to see it anymore, and during that time I managed to snag this photo (it took me 49 tries to get one that I was pleased with). All the clicking and moving around I was doing got the attention of my neighbor, so showed him what I was doing. He didn’t speak very good English, but someone handing you their phone is pretty universal! We couldn’t get a good picture on his phone, so I just took a picture of the back of my camera with this photo displaying, and it worked out good enough for him! What a neat experience!

–Dan Thompson

North Pole