Long drive is worth the effort for Billings photographer


Dave M. Shumway

The Northern Lights shimmer over Chimney Rock in the Terry Badlands.

Dave Shumway, an adjunct instructor of art/photography at Rocky Mountain College, was teaching yesterday afternoon when he got an alert that the Northern Lights were likely to hit during the night, and that the light storm was to last two more nights.

He also found out that the forecast for cloud cover looked best farther east in Montana, so he set out for the Terry Badlands. It’s a long drive, sure, but as Shumway said, “I love the landscape out that way, providing great foreground elements.”

Did it ever. His photograph shows the Northern Lights over Chimney Rock, probably the most striking geological feature in the Terry Badlands.


Dave M. Shumway

Here’s another version, full-frame without having to scroll down.


“I’d encourage anyone in Montana to head out tonight and or tomorrow night once it’s dark,” Shumway said, “and once you get away from light pollution to look for the Northern Lights to kick up.”

For all you serious photographers out there, here are Shumway’s technical details:

“Captured with a Canon 5D III and 16-35/4.0L IS in manual mode at ISO5000, f/4.0, and a 25 second exposure to a LexarMemories card. The camera was mounted on a Gitzo 3540 XLS with an Arca-Swiss z1 ballhead.”

To see more of Shumway’s photography, go to his website.

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