Winter in Alaska is a fun time; it’s a hard time for a photographer because we have to choose between shooting during the day time, and waiting out the nights for the northern lights. And then switching schedules back and forth as the weather and the northern lights predictions change.
So the last few nights I’ve spent mostly sitting around at night hoping to be in the right place at the right time. For the most part, instead I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Shooting the northern lights is harder than most folks expect; shooting the northern lights with very specific compositions and scenes is even harder, because everything has to be just right. There are a few areas I have in mind for some northern lights images over the Wrangell Mountains, and so far, I’ve not gotten close. Every night the potential has been there, I’ve ventured out, only to be skunked. And few places can really skunk a photographer like Alaska can.
Instead, I shoot what’s available, and wait until next time to catch those images I’ve so far only visualized in my dreams. Hopefully, with some due diligence, persistence and a sizable lump of good luck, those dreams will bear fruit one day, but for now, I make do.
Until then, I’ll try to catch up on some sleep, and enjoy the winter.
Here are the northern lights over the Wrangell Mountains and Willow Lake. From left to right, those are Mt. Drum Mt. Sanford, Mt. Zanetti and Mt Wrangell. As fine a view of a classic Alaska mountain range, for sure.