The last three nights of photographing the aurora borealis / northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, have been tremendously educational. When I was planning this trip last month, I had never been on a night photography trip to such a cold place, and although there are many online resources with tips on what to do in such an environment, there is no replacement for actual experience. Luckily, nature provided us with the perfect ramp up. Days 1 and 2 featured mild auroras, which gave us time to learn how to keep our cameras and bodies working for hours in the freezing cold (-5ºF to -15ºF) . On day 3, an absolutely epic aurora rocked our worlds, and photographer Julian Cohen and I ran around in the snow, yelling in excitement. From 1am to past 3:30am, the aurora borealis covered nearly the entire night sky, blanketing it with snaking ethereal ribbons of astral beauty. I have never experienced anything like it. I hope one day, you will get to see what we saw last night. Until then, please enjoy these photos, and this timelapse video that I put together.
Special thanks to Casey Thompson, a local photographer and general manager of the Fairbanks Hampton Inn & Suites, who gave us some excellent tips on shooting locations.