Two Minute Read – Why Are Star Reflections in Water Elongated?

Why is the reflection of a full moon in the Snake River a stretched-out oval and not a round disk?

Why is the reflection of a full moon in the Snake River a stretched-out oval and not a round disk?

An interesting question came up during a recent NANPA webinar on “Chasing & Photographing the Aurora Borealis” presented by Carl Johnson.  Why is it that the reflections of stars, moon or sun in bodies of water always seem to have elongated shapes?  After all, when doing night photography, with a short enough shutter speed, the moon will be sharp and round; the stars will be tiny, sharp, points of light.  So why do they seem to stretch out when reflected in a lake, stream or pond?

Continue reading

How to Chase and Shoot the Aurora

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

From the Editor:  Award-winning landscape and nature photographer Carl Johnson has been living in Alaska for almost 20 years and is an expert on shooting auroras.  On Friday, August 17th, at 2 PM EDT, he will present a NANPA Webinar, “Chasing & Photographing the Aurora Borealis. This webinar covers the science behind the aurora, the tools available to predict and plan for it (including websites and apps that provide real-time and forecasting information), tips on when and where to photograph it, and what gear and techniques to use. For more information or to sign up, click here.

Continue reading