I am soooo glad my luggage showed up when it did because I really needed some of the contents in there for the evening’s excursion – Aurora Borealis viewing! A Bucket List check off for sure! This was one of my main goals for coming to Yellowknife was to see the Northern Lights. Fingers crossed….
Definitely needed the long johns but more importantly the camera tripod. I did not want to risk taking the tripod in my carry on, just in case security did not approve of long metal poking devices!
After I piled on the layers of clothing, I met my tour group in the lobby of the hotel shortly after 9:00 p.m. I had an organized tour arranged with *My Backyard Tours* for this excursion. They had a great setting for this – a rustic cabin on the shores of a frozen lake away from the lights of the city. Even during the drive out there, which took about 25 minutes, we could see the Northern Lights dancing in the sky. I was in awe!
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are dynamic displays of multi-coloured luminosity appearing in the night sky in high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. They are caused primarily by energized electrons from the sun and solar wind moving at high speeds within the atmosphere. The *lights* are arrayed along a band (the auroral oval) with the North Magnetic Pole near its centre which amazingly (for me) is over Yellowknife, making it one of the best places in the world to view!
Now capturing the Northern Lights on camera is another thing altogether! A regular point-and-shoot camera or your cell phone will NOT get the job done – not a chance….which is why I most definitely needed my tripod and a few settings on my camera that I have never used. Ever. This was my first time attempting a photo shoot of this capacity and there was certainly a learning curve.
The pictures I captured with the equipment I had were *ok*…but some of the people with me had some big ass cameras with amazing knowledge – since they were all professional photographers! One guy (Hiro) even gave me his business card. He said he would share some of his pics.
The *light show* was absolutely remarkable! I can not say enough how amazing the sky looked from one moment to another – it kept changing over and over again. Incredible! If I did not capture the beauty of the Aurora on camera, it will be etched in my memory forever! I’m ok with that.
Traveller's Tip #4: Batteries and cold do not work well together. Keep your spare batteries next to your body. But be sure to have spare batteries!