April 2, 2022: Northern Lights Photography Workshop Recap
Our most recent photography workshop in our series focusing on photographing the northern lights was another success. We had five people participate in the session (the limit for this session was 6 people). The unique benefit that participants gained from this workshop was that there were four professional photographers on hand to help answer questions: Nathan Bett (the instructor), Heather Krut (Nathan’s colleague), Chris Guibert (KML’s Outdoor Activity Lead), and myself. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with us for being able to get some practical experience following the instructional portion of the evening – the skies were very cloudy and showed no sign of clearing. Nonetheless, Nathan’s instruction and discussion was informative, interesting, and fun. Afterwards, even without having the chance to see or photograph the night sky, every participant expressed great satisfaction to me about what they learned.
For the first portion of the class, Nathan Bett shared his extensive knowledge of auroras, night-time photography techniques, camera technology, and helpful additional resources during a classroom-style presentation. Nathan then spent time helping each participant to become more familiar with their own personal equipment (which ranged from prosumer DSLR cameras to smartphone cameras). Typically, the remainder of the class is used for some hands-on learning, either by viewing the dark sky from one of the golf course fairways at the lodge or venturing out to an agreed upon nearby destination which can also provide expansive views of the sky.
All-in-all, this workshop lasted around two hours, during which several of Nathan’s tips for taking night sky photos were discussed and he was able to spend some time with each participant – getting to know them each a little better and teaching them about their specific cameras and their settings.
Auroras occur throughout the year. However, darkness is needed to be able to see them. The long periods of daylight during the northern hemisphere’s summer months tend to render most of them, during that time period, invisible to our eyes; so, we most often focus on seeing northern lights during the remainder of the year. The months of January, February, and March, because of their long nights, tend to be the most popular times to go Aurora hunting. Additionally, the dates surrounding a new moon tend to have darker nights, which could increase the likelihood of photographing the northern lights (if the weather cooperates). Although the winter season is approaching its end, I can not think of a better way to spend a weekend – using the long, dark nights to learn about and possibly see/photograph the northern lights and then (here at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge) having plenty of snow to play in during the day.
The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge has scheduled multiple Northern Lights Photography Workshops for this winter season – each one scheduled for a weekend around the time of a new moon. Our next Northern Lights Photo Workshop will be held Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at 7:30pm.
Please see our Calendar of Events for the complete listing of upcoming workshops, then contact the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge – Outdoor Activity Center or Events Department for more details and to reserve your space.
Since I was a child, nature, wildlife, and the outdoors have always been my deepest fascination – the intrinsic force which drives me. Those interests led me through, both, my career (in wildlife ecology/management and science education) and my preferred forms of recreation (hiking, backpacking, canoeing and kayaking, photography, hunting and fishing, and birding). Although, I was born and raised in the UP, these pursuits also provided me the opportunity to live overseas (in Europe and Asia) for 15 years, which greatly expanded my experience with the outdoors and outdoor recreation in different cultures. So, if you’re interested in anything related to the outdoors, stop by the Lodge (or catch me anywhere you may see me on the grounds) to chat about or get set up for your next outdoor adventure.