You just never know.
Last night, the Internet promised New York an amazing once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at the Northern Lights. The lights haven’t been visible in NYC since the 1800s.
Given that I’m probably not going camping in northern Finland anytime soon, this was possibly my one shot at photographing the Aurora Borealis. So I drove an hour and a half up the Hudson River Valley to get away from the light pollution of Manhattan and hopefully get a clear view of the show.
I got to Cold Spring harbor just in time for dusk, and set up my camera on the Main Street pier. It was the perfect spot to catch the Aurora. The vivid green ribbons would dance across the tops of the mountains and reflect on the Hudson River. And you’d just get a hint of twinkling lights on the horizon from distant Newburgh.
I got my camera settings just so, fired off a few test shots and set up my folding chair. Voila. Just add magic.
9:00 came and went.
After obsessive compulsively checking Accuweather, NOAA, NASA and (desperately) Twitter for any signs that we might see the Northern Lights, I finally gave up and packed in the gear The only light show I got to see was the Manhattan skyline coming into view after a long, dark ride home on the Palisades Parkway. Not a bad consolation prize.
For what it’s worth, I’m not sure the actual Northern Lights would have lived up to the photograph that I captured in my imagination while I sat and waited on the pier for four hours.
I hope you enjoy it: