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Nightlife in Saskatchewan

Of the many subjects I have focused my lens on, one of my favorites happens to be one of the most elusive. What many would consider a phenomenon, or otherworldly oddity, is further heightened by its natural exclusivity, producing a spectacle of boreal-brilliance. Of course, I am talking about the Northern Lights.

 Self-portrait. Headlamp with Yongnuo Speedlight | Canon 70D 11mm f/2.8 ISO2000 15s

Self-portrait. Headlamp with Yongnuo Speedlight | Canon 70D 11mm f/2.8 ISO2000 15s

There isn’t much to say about the rhyme or reason behind the timing of aurorae. They arrive in waves and can disappear with little-to-no notice. To keep accessibility at bay, the stage also needs to be set properly; no matter how luminous or lustrous the aurora, clouds will put a firm and heavy damper on the presentation and surely disrupt the show.

 Self-portrait. Headlamp and Crosstrek XV  | Canon 70D 11mm f/2.8 ISO1250 30s

Self-portrait. Headlamp and Crosstrek XV  | Canon 70D 11mm f/2.8 ISO1250 30s

It’s not all roadblocks and obstacles, though. There are times when the powers that be, both heavenly and earthly, align and bear a rare opportunity to gaze into what seems to be caught in the space between. Fluttering about like a dancing  flame, the light burns with colors of varying wonderment before vanishing, just as quickly as it appeared.

Early October 2015, whether by fluke or by fate, there was a great opportunity to spend quality time with this seemingly-unnatural occurrence, a clear forecast, and heavy solar storm activity. With the  sun nearly complete in its descent, closing in on the horizon, I made my way north with my good friend, Herry, to see what type of scenery we could find for the impending visual performance.

 

 Herry adjusts his settings to compensate for the changes in exposure during a solar storm. |  Canon 70D 11mm f/2.8 ISO2000 10s

Herry adjusts his settings to compensate for the changes in exposure during a solar storm. |  Canon 70D 11mm f/2.8 ISO2000 10s

Our adventuring led us to the side of a grid road, west of Silton, Saskatchewan, where we set up and enjoyed the spectacular display. Before long, waves of fog greeted us and turned our ethereal experience into something much more surreal. Once our lenses were fogged up and the coyotes' howling made its way into our comfort zone, we decided to pack up and head home with another night of successful exploring behind us.

Dustin VeitchComment