My first time capturing an aurora came from a bit of luck. I was in the right place, right time and had my camera out shooting. I was photographing the Church of The Good Shepard in Lake Tekapo with the Milky Way behind and was getting a strange glow in the sky. Lake Tekapo is known for its dark sky reserve, so light pollution didn't make sense. I turned my camera towards the glow and took another shot to investigate. There, to my amazement was the colours of pink and yellow. My first aurora captured in my camera.
I knew I had to get a better composition, so I left the church and drove to the South side of the town. From my car I could see pillars of light dancing across the sky without my camera. I pulled over on the side of the road where there was a large opening in front and took a few shots. The occasional car driving passed provided all the light I needed for some foreground interest. 5 minutes later it all died away and I sat back to reflect on the amazing sights I had just witnessed.