Hunting to see Aurora Borealis deep in Tombstone park of Yukon has become a dream that I keep going back to. To say that going to the Ogilvie mountains always excites me is an understatement. the first time I experienced the lights up there, it changed me. It truly is a life changing experience. When the lights are visible, they are very impressive as they dance right above your head. North, East, South & West... It's marvelous. It's wild and weird. There could be weeks without them and then BAM, they you in the face for a week straight as they flame overhead. There's no long term forecast for them, it's a secret! A secret that you find and feels like glory.
This pristine landscape is beyond the tree line and it's well protected so no fires are allowed. Mind you, there's no wood to find to make a fire anyways! Backpacking food is the only thing you've got but who says you can't make gourmet backpacking food? ;) Best time to see the lights up here is end of August, all the way through winter. the sky is way too bright at night during warmer months for Northern Light viewings.
I think that one should plan to see the Aurora at least once in their lives. Words cannot explain. For a chance to shoot the Aurora with me in the Yukon, click here for my future dates!
"SPELLBOUND BY NIGHT" (TOMBSTONE TERRITORIAL PARK, YUKON)
This photograph means a lot to me as it truly showcases my experience in the far North.... I was truly mesmerized when i opened the tent zipper and looked outside as my friend shouted "Ramtin, WAKE UP, they are visible, and very f***** Impressive". I'll never forget this night of my life. We ate early that night and went into our sleeping bags for a nap to wake up and check for the lights. Luckily, on our first night, we saw them.
Photographing the Aurora Borealis at this time of year at such remote locations like this one has its challenges. Long and restless days of hiking or flying is often required to get to Talus Lake. This is near the Arctic circle. Weather here can change dramatically and quickly and even though this was late August, fall colors were already near peak and we woke up to frost at night.
The Aurora Borealis is something that you must experience in person in order to understand what it makes you feel like. There are no words that can explain this feeling and experience. But I'm hoping that my photograph will shed a tiny bit of light on how beautiful and epic this experience is.
For this shot, I used 2 exposures.. One is at night when the light show was at its peak, the other shot is from earlier at twilight/blue hour to bring some details into the shot in the foreground. I love photographing at night because often you can get rid of a lot of distractions in your composition as the landscape transforms under the light. I decided on a vertical composition because I needed to include a lot of the sky and the foreground. With a horizontal one, i'd loose a lot of the river and the sky and instead capture a lot of the mountains on the side which weren't part of the story.