Night Photography

Equinox aurora revisited

Last weekend, I shared one photograph of the Northern Lights from the geomagnetic storm that hit earth in the early morning of the spring equinox. The aurora rippled high into the northern sky for a few hours. Desirée and I watched them for much of that time. Here are a few more images from an incredible night.

After leaving Bragg Creek to see the sunrise at Ghost Lake, the aurora faded into the brightening horizon. This last photograph of the rolling hills north of the lake suggested an echo of the Northern Lights. I’m not sure if they were there still or if it was more my imagination.


Spring Equinox and the Aurora Borealis

The northern hemisphere’s Spring Equinox was welcomed by an incredible performance by the Northern Lights last night. Desirée and I went out early this morning and watched them dance along high in the sky for hours. It was one of the most beautiful displays that I have seen. It’s made for a slow start in daylight today but was wonderfully worthwhile!

Spaceweather.com has a great article today about auroras and equinoxes which I found really interesting. From their front page, “Around the beginning of spring and fall,  cracks open in Earth’s magnetic field–a phenomenon called “the Russell-McPherron effect.” Solar wind pours in to fuel geomagnetic storms.” I didn’t know about that effect – very cool!


It will DEFINITELY be a white Christmas at home this year

We had a bit of snow on the ground yesterday where I live near Bragg Creek, east of Calgary, Alberta. We have A LOT more today!

A snowstorm let fly yesterday evening and it is still falling this afternoon. It seemed like the snow was anxious to land as it fell aggressively all night. We woke up this morning with over 60 cm (2′) on our bedroom deck. Last night, the kids and I went out tobogganing soon after the snow started to fall. It was great fun and we stayed out until dark. Walking back, the nightscape with snowflakes illuminated by the street lights, Christmas lights and silhouettes of the trees along the road caught my eye. I grabbed my tripod along with a remote trigger and photographed for a little while. I could almost watch the blanket of snow rise as I shot. A few vehicles passed by, tracing their lights across some of the long exposures. The muffling of sound from the heavy storm stilled the night leaving only the sound of the snowflakes landing on the ground. One of the prettiest winter nights that I’ve been out in.

Desirée was in town while we played around and called soon after I returned home. Her drive back was a scary one as the same pretty storm was a whiteout on the road and saw more than a couple of dangerous drivers racing around to make it more stressful than was necessary. Once she returned, we all relaxed and were able to resume our wonder at this crazy tempest. A late night soak in the hot tub allowed us to be in the middle of it and stay warm.


Aurora Prairialis

The Northern Lights have been increasing their activity into the southern Canadian latitudes lately. After what seems like close to a year of quiet night skies, it is wonderful to enjoy them again.

We found these dancing lights on the prairies south of Cochrane near the end of September. It was a calm display but hopefully a harbinger of things to come.


Rolling the moon down a cloud

The full moon rolling down a hill of clouds. Photographed on September 1, 2020 west of Calgary, Alberta near Bragg Creek.

We caught the first full moon of September on the first day of the month. The clouds spun and stretched across the sky during the moonrise off of the prairie west of Calgary. The moon leaped up quickly daring the clouds to dim her bright light. It was beautiful.


Perseid Meteor Shower over Bragg Creek

Desirée and I went out to look for shooting stars last night for our favorite meteor shower of the year.  The Perseids didn’t let us down and we saw a couple dozen on either side of midnight west of Bragg Creek.

The Milky Way stood out against the deep night and I was lucky to catch a few crossing that incredible arch.

 


Neowise on a summer night

Desiree and I went out to photograph the Neowise comet on consecutive nights in late July before its nightly tour over the northern hemisphere ended.  It was amazing to see the comet so bright.  With longer exposures, the tail flared out behind in a way that I haven’t photographed before.  That was beautiful and I’m glad we were out there and could share that together.

The comet was difficult to see with the naked eye.  With the camera, and a 6 second exposure, it stood out even against the sparkling sky.


The start of summer lightning

We had a massive thunderstorm roll directly over our home last weekend.  A warm night met with heavy clouds with rain, wind and lightning all in large measures.  We have some incredible storms in the summer – this one felt like the first of those.  Here the forest in my backyard is silhouetted by lighting arcing across the clouds in the storm.

 


Aurora Borealis in the Yukon

Last summer we went to Whitehorse to visit my girlfriend’s family.  One of the nights, we noticed a few lines of color waving in the sky above our patio.  We hopped in the car and drove out of town.  Whitehorse is a pretty small city but the urban lights were too bright for the display to stand out.  We followed a gravel road up a forested hill to a stony field that opened up.

The moon had not quite set when we set up so the first half an hour had the bright moonlight, illuminated clouds and muted northern lights blending across the night sky’s canvas.

The moon set and the aurora display intensified as well so that the greens, blues and traces of purple rippling above were mesmerizing.  We stayed there for a couple of hours.  That was my first time to the Yukon and it was wonderful to be able to enjoy the Northern Lights that far north.  I hope for the same kind of luck when we visit there next.


Happy New Year’s Day

January 1st has been a good, and wonderfully relaxed, start to 2020 for us.  The fireworks at the Redwood Meadows community sports field last night did a great job of ushering in the new year.  All the best to you and yours in this new year.

The fireworks were great.  Thank you to the people involved in the evening’s light show.

 


Evening night morning in the Valley of the Ten Peaks

A good friend and I went up to Moraine Lake at the beginning of June.  We photographed from dusk into dark, crashed out for a couple of hours and then shot the sunrise.  These are a few of the photographs as the time rolled by.

Into the night…

Rising with the sun…

 

 

 


Mornings at Radium’s Sinclair Canyon

My family spent a few days in Radium at the end of March.  I had not been that way since last fall.  Driving through the Sinclair Canyon’s narrow opening into the Columbia Valley this time, the steep rock walls grabbed my attention.

I went there early on three of the four mornings to play with those solid forms.  Lights from passing traffic traced bright lines through the long exposures.

The last morning was the earliest I arrived – a little after 4am.  I had some ideas for images with star trails through the gap in the canyon.  The clouds were not supportive of those ideas.  I watched them knit together and block the night sky as I was setting up.  Those ideas will get another chance later this spring I think.