Northern Lights in the Canadian Rockies - Moraine Lake, Lake Minnewanka, Valley of Ten Peaks
This night was truly special, and included the most unforgettable moment of my photography journey. While I started out with astrophotography at Lake Minnewanka, I quickly switched gears when the sky started to light up with blue and green ribbons of the Aurora. I scrambled around in the dark rushing up to the top of the viewpoint of Moraine Lake, all the while trying not to trip as I kept gazing up at the amazing light show happening above.
After reaching the top, I naturally faced north as I didn’t expect to see any Aurora facing south this far away from the Arctic. Boy was I wrong! I turned around and saw the Aurora dancing over the famous Moraine Lake 10 peaks, quickly turned the gear around and started shooting. I was the only person atop the rock stack, and while the cameras did their thing, I just decided to stop and take some moments to really appreciate the beauty of the Northern Lights.
Truly a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget!
The 49th Parallel - Porteau Cove, B.C
The Greater Vancouver area is lower south than Alberta and Northern BC, therefore the visibility of aurora depends on the strength or ‘kp’ of the aurora storm that occurs. My first time witnessing the Northern Lights was actually in my backyard in Porteau Cove Provincial Park (where these photos were taken). After frequently following aurora websites that would forecast upcoming geomagnetic storms, I decided to head out to a nearby location that would have low light pollution and still be easy to access. At first my eyes had to adjust to the natural dark skies, but after seeing the images appear on the LCD, I was ecstatic to actually capture the dancing aurora above the mountain peaks.
On one particular night, after receiving an email about a potential strong geomagnetic storm, I headed out to Porteau Cove. I noticed a very bright white line streaking from behind a mountain and up across the sky. At first, I thought it was a strong flashlight. It really stood out and once I became aware that it wasn’t moving like the aurora occurring to the north of where I was standing, I started to take photos to get a better idea of what the beam of light could be.
I originally thought that I had captured a Proton Arc. However, by sheer luck, almost a year later I learned that I had in fact photographed a phenomenon known as ‘STEVE’. I felt extremely lucky to have seen and captured this unique phenomenon. This was a perfect example of ‘Right place, right time’.