Sunny days and aurora-filled nights- it was a good week to try out the canon 16-35 wide angle that I purchased used recently. A lot of folks are afraid to buy used lenses off the internet, but I have gotten very lucky a few times and saved quite a few dollars. I am very impressed with its sharpness, fast focusing, and 2.8 aperture, which allows for plenty of light gathering ability. Used with the cropped-sensor of my 7d, it isnt wide enough for big landscape and aurora shots, but I am still very happy with it.
The above photo was shot at 2.8 f-stop, 1250 ISO, and a 5 second exposure. If you can gather enough light to shoot at 5 seconds or less, you capture more definition in the aurora light, since they are moving. The below photo was taken at 15 seconds, since the band of light was stationary. The longer exposure time captured a brighter green, but softened the shapes in the lights. I prefer to shoot with a white balance set at “daylight,” but you can adjust this in editing programs, as long as you shoot in RAW.
If you ever have a chance to travel by train, do it. I love capturing the sense of infinity as the train heads into the unknown vastness.
The 16-35 was excellent for those sled dog portraits that I enjoy so much. I set my aperture to around 5.6, so the background dogs are blurry enough to show distance, but still recognizable.
The sun in the North is coming back fast, but it is still at a low angle for the entire day, allowing for lots of opportunities for back-lit images. Below is a scene from the Ice Alaska Competition.
Ride the train through the wilderness, behold Denali in all its majesty, see and photograph Alaska the right way. There is still a little room left on the incredible Alaskan photo expeditions this summer. Click here to read about it.