The Northern Lights in Yellowknife! We visited Yellowknife in early February had a lot of fun – we visited the flags of the Northwest Territories, drove on ice roads and saw the aurora borealis.
Something to note – you can’t always see them. The lights may be there, bouncing around and shining away, yet the clouds will be blocking your view. Here are some tips that I wish I would have know before venturing out onto the ice to see the Northern Lights.
- You can’t always see them – so be sure you’re ready on each outing.
- Getting out of the city is key – you don’t want other lights impede your view.
- Know your camera and it’s settings before you’re ready to shoot. One, it’s too cold to fumble around with your camera; and two, you don’t want to get frustrated with needing to get a good picture rather than simply enjoying the lights.
- You need a tripod.
- Dress warmly and be ready to wait.
So the one tip above that’s the most important in my eyes is the third one. We saw the lights on our first night and I wasn’t completely confident with my settings. I just went for it and let’s just say they’re not the best. These photos are okay, certainly amateur, and are perfect to me all at the same time.
In Yellowknife optimal viewing time is around midnight. We made our way out of the city to one of the territorial parks. I suggest Prelude Lake Territorial Park. It’s also a campground and looks awesome during the winter.
The coolest part and what will stay with me forever is that I had to look up to see the lights. In Edmonton when they are visible they are off on the horizon, not up in the tip top of the sky. It’s so awesome – seeing the lights in person is far better than pictures (even good ones). Pictures simply don’t compare to the real thing.
We got to Prelude Lake around 10:30pm and after a long couple of days of travelling we were tired. There was one other car there – a group of 3 who were confused they couldn’t see the lights. They asked us when they were going to show up. Ah, do I look like a local? Well, I had a huge fur hat on, so probably.
It was minus 35 that Thursday night and we decided we couldn’t stay awake until 2am, so we slept. We set our phones and woke up every 15 minutes. On our fourth nap we head screaming outside the truck. The group beside us was jumping and dancing around. Bryce and I looked out of our windows and were so confused.
Then, we got out of the truck and looked up. I was in awe. Seriously, the sky was so beautiful. I could see the northern lights.
I stood and watched for about 5 minutes and then grabbed the camera and set up. Cold fingers and poor settings are the results of what you’re seeing here. In my mind, however, these photos are beautiful because they remind me of what my eyes actually saw and how amazing our world is.
This one below is my favourite.
Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you get to see the lights one day, too.