Re-Process and a whole hundred pixels bigger!
Common questions: Bigger?
No, sorry!Is it real?
There are two versions of this photo. One that is longer and this one. I THOUGHT they were the same photo but apparently they are not. Either only the long one is a stitch, or they both are (I usually do 2-3 sweeps, especially for night time panoramas) and I suspect different software parameters partly played a role in the difference (I may have stitched only 2-3 images for one and 3-5 for the other. Maybe when I dig deep enough into my photo backups I will uncover the exact truth, because the truth right now is I just don't know!
I used a tripod and cable release. The EXIF data is missing because I now tend to save in .PNG format for web. If you have any questions about the processing or shooting techniques used here, ask!
The other version is now posted. I will link it here eventually. The NR is a little strong on the other version which partly contributes to the difference but you can see big differences between the two especially in some of the aurora shapes. Where is this?
About 40km from a small town called Fort Smith near the Alberta/Northwest Territories border. The waterscape is a bend of the gargantuan Slave River (a mile across on average), which runs from mid Alberta all the way into the Great Slave Lake.
The water empties from the Slave Lake and becomes the Mackenzie River, feeding into more separate lakes and rivers and underground waterways than you might imagine. Most of Canada's water, and a large portion of the worlds fresh water, can be found in this region and Canada's north in general. The Mackenzie continues northward, where it empties out into the Arctic Ocean.
The waterscape is not an ocean
A few have made the mistake of thinking the shapes near the shore are waves. If you look closely you can see cracks in the "waves." It is just irregular shapes created on the spring ice because our melt takes several months. Are there really that many (viewable) stars where I live in the night sky?
Technically, for the most part, yes. This photo is by my estimate effectively one stop brighter than visible with the naked eye. In complete darkness (in the absence of light from the blue spectrum), a protien called rhodopsin begins to accumulate in the rods of your eye, put simply. After about 40 minutes it reaches its peak and could be compared to raising the ISO sensitivity of a camera. This process is called dark adapting your eyes.
Combined with fully dilated pupils, the swath of the milky way and thousands of stars are visible. It is absolutely, insanely beautiful. I have been fascinated with it since I was young. I can't wait to buy a deep sky telescope.