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October 28, 2021

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An Aurora Named Steve

I first saw and photographed this phenomenon on August 21, 2014, while shooting the aurora borealis in Portage Valley of the Chugach National Forest with friend and fellow photographer CJ Kale of Lava Light Galleries in Hawaii. The nature of the phenomenon was notably different compared to the typical aurora borealis. It stood straight up from the horizon with a slight bend like a bow, and it pretty much did not move. It had a pale pink hue, and it arced from the west to the east, forming a curved line across the sky. The times I have seen and…

Watch for Aurora Click Bait

Every once in a while over the last month or so, I have been seeing worrisome queries on aurora interest pages on Facebook. It all started with a classic click-bait headline, “2016 Is Your Last Chance to See the Northern Lights Before They Vanish.” How accurate is this? Is this true? These are some of the questions that introduce the post to others. The very easy, accurate and simple answer is, “Absolutely not. It’s complete hogwash.” Of course, once you click on the article, you get a rather perfunctory explanation of the solar cycle, and how the sun’s activity peaks…

A New Age of Aurora Viewing

Back in 2002, I was only three years into being what I considered to be a serious nature photographer.  What was that dividing line, you may ask?  There were two things that happened that helped me to understand I was getting more serious.  One was beginning to truly understand how light affected film, and the other was switching from color negative film to color slide film. I had only been living in Alaska for three years in 2002, and the experience was overwhelming.  So many new sights, new places to explore and photograph, new friends, new work obligations, and a relationship that was…

Aurora Lite

After the early tease of the aurora in late August, I’ve been itching for the chance to get my next northern light fix. Even though the forecast emphasized overcast skies the aurora was supposed to be stormy so Carl Johnson and I ventured out to find a clearing in the sky. We did. It only lasted briefly and it was faint – but the stars were bright so it made for from some interesting shots. This one was on our way back along the highway – the street lights made the trees glow yellow.

Open Thread: Aurora is Coming

    I know some places in the Fairbanks area have already spotted the elusive aurora but down here in Anchorage I haven’t gotten a glimpse yet. But prepare yourself folks, it’s coming… and with that, The Darkness. So make sure you bask in the light as much as you can and grab up the last of the summer crop at the local farmers markets.

Last Aurora Hunt of the Season?

A couple of nights ago the northern lights were suposed to be out in force, so I went north from Anchorage in search of my prey – Aurora Borealis. After driving over an hour north, pulling off into dark corners along the Glenn Highway.  I thought, again the prediction maps were just a tease. So since I was already out wandering around in the darkness, I decided to find a spot and take some star trail photos. I stopped at Thunderbird Falls in the Chugach. The wind was occasionally biting, but it stayed in the high 30’s so I knew I’d…