Pic(k) of the week 4: Northern Lights from the Airbus A380 with the Fujifilm X-100F

Last week has been a bit hectic with all of the great new cameras launched by Fujifilm! As a Fujifilm X-photographer, I've been lucky to be able to review a few of them; more importantly the X-T20 and X-100F (check out the review by clicking on the link).

Part of this process, which often starts several months before the official release date, means that test images are often sitting on harddrives for quite some time before seeing the light of day - no pun intended! 

Such was the case for the image below, shot from the Airbus A380, I fly for a living. Flying North of Iceland, the great Northern light became visible just before I completed my in-flight rest period on a flight from Dubai to New York.

The image was shot from the passenger cabin; yes all passengers that were awake during these exciting 15mins, were able to witness this great spectacle...

I like how the Airbus A380 red beacon light, lit up the entire wing, while the green aurora came rolling in from the Earths outer atmosphere. Shooting Northern lights (also called Aurora Borealis in the Northern Hemisphere), from an airplane can be challenging. Any movement due to turbulence, during the long exposure needed, will lead to motion blur, while airliner windows often further distorts the light.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-100F (fixed 23mm lens)
  • ISO 8000, f2.0, 0.6 sec
  • Exif Editor to change the RAW file Exif data from X-100F to X-T2 (same sensor) as no RAW converters are available for the X-100F today; expected soon. 
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Photoshop CC 2017 to remove some unwanted light and dust reflections from the aircraft windows and atmosphere.
I know some photographers interested in the new Fujifilm X-100F, might ask  for the original RAW file, but as I've edited the image, I believe the final piece should be able to stand on its own. This is by no means a detriment to the quality of the X-100F; to the contrary. In order to shoot the image I needed a wide aperture (f2.0 or better) lens and a sensor which allowed me to shoot at high ISO; both items I was easily able to achieve by using the X-100F. It was shot as a single image; no HDR or image blending techniques have been used. 

More of my Aerial photography can be found here

Remember: "The harder you work, the luckier you get" - Gary Player