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Voices Online Edition
VOICES Vol. XIX No. 4 - Advent/Christmas 2004

The Heavens declare the Glory of God;
and the firmament showeth His handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

Back Cover - Aurora borealis - Lake Michigan - photo by Michael Brown

Michael Brown, the photographer of the remarkable photograph on the back cover of this issue, gave us an interesting account of how he came to see this phenomenal display, and kindly gave us permission to publish his comments. - Ed.

On Photographing the Aurora Borealis

In the middle of the night (November 8) I was awakened from a strange dream. I looked outside, and I saw a brilliant display of northern lights in the eastern sky. The fact that the displays were dancing from east to west across the sky puzzled me, because the few times I have witnessed the aurora borealis, it has always been low on the northern horizon.

I drove to the shore of Lake Michigan to try to photograph the display reflecting over the waters of Lake Michigan. The lakeshore is about a twenty-minute drive from our home.

When I arrived at a beach on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan, at about 1 a.m., I found ideal conditions for photography. The sky was very clear, there was little light pollution from nearby cities, and the aurora was very intense and colorful. I made numerous exposures lasting between 30 -60 seconds each. After about 45 minutes I realized my fingers were aching from the cold. It was below freezing with a brisk wind off the lake.

On the way home, I watched a crescent moon rise in the east, and wished I had stayed just a little longer. I felt very humbled watching the display and it reaffirmed to me the magnificence of God's creation. I will always remember and treasure those moments. Although I was alone on the beach, I'm thrilled to have photographs that in some small way let me share the beauty of that evening with others.

Michael Brown
Antioch, Illinois

For more pictures go to

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