September 2, 2011
The first time Sean and I popped over to Yellowknife in search of the northern lights was back in February of this year. Even though it was well below 0 degrees when we arrived and hadn’t quite managed to squeeze enough layers into our carry on luggage, we fell in love with the city pretty quick. Yellowknife has a certain charm to it. It has old character homes beside stunning modern buildings, ice castles in the winter, and A&W that is open whenever it feels like and of course, the most amazing light show this world has to offer; the northern lights. Since this February we have visited the city every chance we have gotten. We have flown YVR-YEG-YZF and back so often that the airport staff in Yellowknife aren’t surprised when they see our tired faces at check in on Sunday morning after a night of aurora chasing or two.
This city has a lot to offer with all its charm and opportunity but, in the end the northern lights are what call us back there weekend after weekend. After many nights enjoying watching the lights dance over frozen lakes, two weekends ago I finally was able to try my hand at photographing them. It also happened to be the first time I saw the northern lights when it was above zero and for about a week I was over the moon about seeing them reflect onto the still lake below. From our last few visits we have also discovered that Yellowknife is a completely different world in the months where the lakes are actually lakes and not an ice highway or landing strip. The city goes from all white to vibrant greens and blues and some people’s houses even switch from being on solid ground to floating on water. It’s phenomenal to see and it is equally wonderful to watch the lights with only one pair of socks and still have warm feet ;) I didn’t have a fancy wide angle lens for the stunning photos like you will find on sean norman’s blog, but a 50mm lens served me well enough from twilight until the clouds took over.