A reindeer in Hong Kong: Our reindeer Reinulf was the guest of honor in Hong Kong over the weekend!
The Observatory’s resident mascot, Reinulf, could be seen under the aurora at Hong Kong cultural center this weekend. The aurora association, a non-governmental organization, held its annual aurora festival over two days. Dr. Anson Tong, its principal acting president expertly curated 30 photographs of aurora from around the world that best represented the 2019 season. The pictures came from the aurora expert and photographer panel, which encompasses people from all countries and origins. They are some of the best pictures in the world of the 2019 season to be put on display during the course of the event. Our very own resort manager and professional photographer got selected as well! His impressive picture of Reinulf standing under a bright display of aurora from last season was exhibited at the venue. It received much praise and attention!
Adrien set his camera and tripod within the reindeer enclosure on a clear February night when he knew the aurora would be very bright with many colors. He used the Canon 6D and the Sigma 14mm f1.8 lens. After some tests, he noticed that Reinulf wasn’t significantly moving that much so he tried setting up at ISO 6400, f1.8, 1 second shutter speed. That’s as far as he could push the settings so he had to hope for at least one shot that was sharp. When the aurora started to dance brightly in the sky, the photographer started a timelapse sequence in portrait mode with the same settings. The shots were firing one after the other. Adrien made sure to stay close to the camera because he was the ones feeding him.
Adrien took about 300 pictures. Back behind the computer screen most, of the pictures were correctly exposed but Reinulf was moving and blurry. However when you scroll through a bunch of bad pictures and finally find the one that is sharp, you just can’t contain your joy. Out of the 300 shots, only 8 had Reinulf sharp enough to be satisfactory. Only 3 had a very nice aurora above head. Finally this shot stood out from all the others. The bright aurora behind his head makes the silhouette very defined while the aurora above illuminates his fur and the snow around so you can see something. Finally the pink and purple colors compliment the shot in a very nice way.
We are so proud of this shot and it is the first time we see one where a semi-wild animal, which is not on leash, stands under such a display of aurora! Not to mention that it got to be exhibited during an international event!
Adrien is now an active member of the aurora association and an aurora expert/photograph. The association’s moto is ‘Developing the environmental protection in Arctic circle thought studying, promoting, sharing, discovering our aurora’. It is fairly new but more and more actions are undertaken to raise awareness about the Arctic and its conservation. It is a very nice last minute surprise for the observatory and shows that we strive to provide the best services. The 2018-2019 season was an excellent one considering the bas weather we had, but we are convinced that Adrien will do his best to top this already unbelievable photograph! And as for a few lucky guests during the moment this photograph was taken, you might also attend one of those sessions right at the observatory if you book your stay with us, so hurry in: www.auroraborealisobservatory/booking/ to book.
Dr. Anson Tong inaugurating the festival