I arrived at Mono lake a little after 9:00 pm. There was a fellow at the lake using a huge spotlight, dominating the entire western region of the shoreline, and so I decided to point my camera in another direction rather than confront this individual. I aimed for just under the Big Dipper, so essentially pointing north.
After the 30 second exposure was over I immediately saw this on my back screen, but since I was shooting RAW and had my settings at Neutral, I thought it was just some high stratus clouds.
I couldn't see this with my eyes... only a faint glow in the sky.
Thjis image was done with minimal post processing... mostly just did things to balance out some uneven light painting I was doing... I really was pretty mad at that other guy getting in our way and was very distracted.
All I know for certain is that I'm now glad that the rude light painter was being unthoughtful... if not, I would have never turned my sites away from the milky way on the horizon.
Another funny thing is that before I left on this trip, I was joking with a storm chaser friend about one day wanting to see northern lights over Mono Lake... I thought myself funny because it was a preposterous idea...