I turned my Pixel 2 to the side and I opened the camera app. The screen was black pixelated. I went to Night Sight. The screen does not look better. I pressed the Night Sight camera button on the crescent moon and I remained motionless as I had been told.
The milky shine is transformed into a bright green. The outline of a snowy mountain has emerged. My phone had captured more light from the aurora borealis than I could see with my own eyes.
This was yet another example of the quality of Pixel camera technology, especially in the dark. The camera of the iPhone X simply does not compare when shooting hard at night. My sister, who traveled with me to Alaska in March, also tried to take pictures of Northern Lights with her iPhone X that night. She had nothing.
My dream was to see the northern lights. I had planned to try it in Anchorage and further north to Fairbanks, where I would have a better chance.
I checked the weather and a Aurora stalker online for days before the trip. We will not see it, I would moan when cloud icons appeared in the forecasts. (I've talked so much about it that I thought I was juxtaposed.) Then I checked the Aurora tracker and my minds were going to increase the likelihood of observing the fickle dancers ranging from "above average" to "excellent". the next days. I was on an emotional roller coaster.
Lights peak in Alaska in March, but generally last from September to April. They are usually green, but if you are lucky, you will catch them. They can be seen hovering in the night sky when particles of the sun hit the Earth's atmosphere. complicated reaction.
The first spot we visited in Anchorage in the hope of a colorful show was not good; It was too close to the lights of the city. We finally found a point of view on a hill around 1am. There were other cars on the parking lot when we arrived – we were on something. It was a short trail that led to a flat belvedere where groups of people huddled around a sophisticated camera on a tripod. We could see what a milky cloud looked like on our right and another one that was swinging above our heads – the movement was so light that it seemed like an optical illusion. I started taking pictures and I was impressed by the results.
Meanwhile, my husband, who brought Canon EOS 6D, took long exposure photos, which are significantly better than my Night Sight photos. In terms of clarity, you can not compare the two – and you have to wait for it. He was shooting with an expensive camera. I was happy that my phone, which is an old model, could get any color. The photos were pretty good for Instagram, and that's all I needed.
Google has proposed Night Sight to its Pixel suite shortly after the release of Pixel 3 in October. Vegar Henriksen, who is 18 and works in computer science in Norway, caught Aurora using Night Sight on his Pixel 1 in December and shared his photos. on Reddit. He was on a dark beach in northern Norway – excellent conditions to spot Aurora, hidden from light pollution – and contemplate the glowing wave in the sky.
"When I waited for the photos to be processed, I realized that it was impossible for Night Sight to capture that as I saw it at the naked eye, but I did was very surprised when a clear and detailed photo and I immediately showed it to my friend, "Henriksen said by e-mail. Some of his shots almost cried.
Henriksen is a passionate photographer of Aurora and is testing new phones as a hobby. He tried taking pictures of the lights with an iPhone X and a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, featuring a feature called night mode. The iPhone "has no chance," he said, adding that he was producing a black and grainy image that gave the impression that his finger was in front of him. goal. The Huawei comes out better than the iPhone, but is far from the Pixel. I have tried several shots with the Huawei; the best that he got was a weak green line.
"The images were highly over-processed, very soft and often lacking in focus," he said of Huawei's photos.
When I shared his Pixel photos with his friends, I did not think that he had captured Aurora with a phone.
Evan Lites, who moved to Palmer, Alaska, from Florida last summer, experienced a similar experience when he shared photos that he took on a Pixel 1 on Reddit and Instagram. Several people then asked the 18-year-old student what type of phone he had.
Lites was sitting on his porch at 10 degrees in November when the Aurora arrived. It was the best show he had seen. However, there was a disadvantage: at one point, his phone stopped working in cold weather.
"That night, the lights danced for a few seconds and I even saw some purple appear on the green," Lites said. He expected better clarity with Night Sight, but was still "completely surprised" with the results. He has slightly modified his pictures, including the white balance and the temperature change of the white balance.
We all had our photos holding our phone in our hands, without any adjustments in the camera application. But if there was one thing we would all change, it would be this: Use a tripod.