First you must go read Yellowknife Photographer Pat’s blog post My Love/Hate Relationship with the Aurora.
My response is preach, brother preach. I get where Pat is coming from. You see one photo of the aurora, you have seen them all. I am guilty of being an “aurora chaser” going out night after night looking for the aurora to photograph. I don’t know why. Its not like I do much with the photos.
I’ll uploaded one or two on Flickr, maybe one to YkOnline’s Facebook Page and then they disappear into my archive.
It must be because aurora photography is not just about getting great photos of the aurora, which is nice, it is more about actually getting out and experiencing the wonders of the NWT on a consistent basis. For me anyways. Last week for example I ended up on Johnston Lake, which is way up an ice road. If it hadn’t of been for the aurora I would have not gone up there. I wouldn’t have seen a couple foxes, a lynx and heard an owl.
That said though, the aurora are the most marketable tourism product the NWT has to offer. People, whether we agree or not, find the aurora borealis fascinating and spectacular and want to see it in person. So in order for us to convince them to come to the NWT and spend their money here, we need to show them that we have the best lights show in the world. This involves photos. This involves us as local ambassadors to talk and show how great they are.
I completely agree with Pat on the front that the NWT also has amazing people and culture. Personally I love documenting people more than the aurora. People can tell stories… the aurora are – and to quote Pat – green blobs.
The solution I see, not that there needs to be one, is capture people with the aurora, bring them north to see them and then expose them to the north’s rich culture, history and people.