In February and March I was thrilled to guide 3 back-to-back Northern Lights Photography Expeditions for Natural Habitat. For me, photographing Aurora borealis, is equally as exciting as photographing bears, but far more challenging. The real satisfaction for me, however, comes from helping others master the techniques to get images that symbolize the North Country like nothing else. I really love seeing people light up with joy when they get their first image of the aurora.
I really didnt get a chance to photograph the lights myself very much, as I was too busy helping the groups set up and work their gear, but on the last night of the season, I set my camera up, locked my cable release and let the camera photograph all by itself for a few hours. I was amazed at the toughness of the Canon 7D, and the endurance of the battery, as it was 27 degrees below zero fahrenheit, and very windy. In fact, I did get frostbite on the tip of my nose! It was all worth it in the end, as my group got all the aurora they could hope for, and I had the ingredients for my first real time lapse. Check it out, and look for the “moon dog,” which is an ice crystal halo, and a few shooting stars as well. I compiled this in lightroom, using LRTimelapse, which i highly recommend.
So obviously we were up really late most of the nights, so we usually started our days around 10:30 am. One may wonder what is there to do during the day in a tiny outpost like Churchill in the middle of winter? There is plenty. We were given cultural talks by Dene and Metis elders, toured the spectacular Eskimo Museum, went dog sledding, photographed boreal forest birds and tundra lichens, and learned the ancient art of building an igloo, just to name a few. One of the highlights of these trips, as told to me by many of the travelers, was the intimate experience of getting to know this incredible community during a very quiet season.
I will be guiding these trips next year! The solar maximum is forecasted to be as good or better as this year. Check the trip out here- Northern Lights Photography Expeditions for Natural Habitat