September 17, 2023: Northern Lights Photography Workshop Recap

The September 17, 2023 Aurora Photography Workshop was the first photo workshop of the fall at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and the ninth workshop of 2023. Throughout the year we offer night sky photo workshops every month as part of our educational initiatives at the Keweenaw Mountain in association with being the headquarters of the Keweenaw Dark Sky Park.

Signs posted at the Lodge directing guests to the workshop.

During the spring and fall we change the theme of the night sky photo workshops to focus on capturing the auroras, commonly known as the Northern Lights. This time of year is loosely called the aurora season.

Poster for the September 17, 2023 Northern Lights Photo Workshop.

Twenty (20) people signed up for the class – which is the limit for the workshop. So we turned people away that wanted to attend after we hit the 20-person mark. That said, only 11 people attended.

Nate Bett was the instructor for the class. Every time I listen to Nate teach, I hear his passion for photography in every word that comes out of his mouth. He is one of those teachers that loves sharing his extensive knowledge.

The Night Sky photo workshops are broken into two segments: an inside presentation and an outside, hands-on portion. This night’s class started at 8:00pm and Nate launched into a digital slideshow covering topics like: preparations for a night sky photo shoot, Aurora basics, camera settings, and picking good locations.

Instructor Nate Bett leads the workshop in a discussion about the northern lights.

Throughout the class, coffee and water are provided, and usually a special treat is created by Chef Wi. For this class, she made zucchini muffins with white chocolate chips, orange zest and currants from South Africa. These delicious muffins were right out of her personal recipe book that follows our Rustic Worldly Food dining concept.

Zucchini muffins made with white chocolate chips, orange zest and currants from South Africa.

As the class worked through the digital presentation I kept looking outside to check the weather. The clouds were not going to break and it was going to remain overcast. I informed the class we would not be able to do the hands-on, outside portion of the workshop. Nate offered to stick around and work with people on any camera questions they might have. The guests were excited to get some one on one time with Nate and his expertise.

Instructor Nate Bett helps participants with personal camera questions.

During the class I did receive an update from the Michigan Aurora Chasers Facebook group stating that a major solar G2 storm was going to hit the next night. I shared this information with the class and a wave of excitement filled the room. After the class I went right to bed to be rested for the potential showing of the next night’s aurora. And what a show it was…

Aurora forecast model for September 18-19, 2023
Northern lights over Bete Grise Beach in the early morning hours of September 19, 2023.

Our next photo workshop will be held during the new moon in October, on October 15th:


Last modified on October 11th, 2023 at 1:28 pm