Brooks Range Aurora and Autumn Landscapes
Our base camp for this workshop is the Boreal Lodge in Wiseman, Alaska. Nestled in a dramatic valley surrounding the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River, Wiseman is a former mining town as described by Robert Marshall in Arctic Village. Today, it is home to 13 permanent residents and is nestled in the heart of the Brooks Range and directly beneath the auroral oval. This workshop will test your endurance, as clear weather will mean late nights coupled with photography during the day.
You should arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska, by the afternoon of August 28. If arriving by air, let me know what flight and when you arrive, and I will provide for transportation to our lodging. We will meet to have dinner in the evening and discuss the itinerary and photo opportunities for the days ahead. Conditions permitting, we will head out for an introductory session on aurora photography with a visit to Aurora Bear.
We will want to get an early start on the day to enjoy some good light on our drive up the Dalton Highway to Wiseman, which is approximately six hours to the north of Fairbanks. Meet me in the hotel lobby at 7:00 a.m. so we can load up and head north. We will make stops along the way to capture some classic scenery and get a start on discussing our gear and technique. Lunch will be taken on the road.
We will check into the Boreal Lodge in the afternoon and settle in to our rooms. We will then have a short introductory workshop session and an early dinner. We will head out to capture a couple of hours of evening light before sunset. If the skies are clear, we will set up for a “Twilight Snack” and wait for darkness and the aurora.
Day Three Through Five
Each day, we will transit to various locations in the Dalton Highway corridor north and south of Wiseman, depending on the weather. Sunrise is approximately 6:30 a.m. and sunset is around 9:30 p.m. Between night and morning twilight, we will have about 6 hours of nighttime shooting to work on aurora and other night sky techniques. Most instruction will be in the field. We will be experiencing a waxing crescent moon during the trip, so that will provide additional elements and opportunities for nighttime landscape photography if the skies are clear, but the brightness of the moon will not interfere with viewing and photographing the aurora.
Most of our field photography will occur between evening light and after sunrise. Depending on conditions, success, and the interest of the group, we may be out in the field all night for some nights, and other nights get some sleep. On some evenings, we may even take dinner out in the field to save the time necessary to return to the lodge for meals. However, plan to get most of your sleep during the day between breakfast and dinner. This sort of schedule is necessary to take advantage of the autumn landscapes and the aurora. And staying out all night is the very sort of schedule that aurora chasers have to endure!
We will depart the Boreal Lodge in Wiseman no later than 10:00 a.m. for our return drive to Fairbanks. Plan to arrive back in Fairbanks no earlier than 5:00 p.m.
- Transportation between Fairbanks and Wiseman, Alaska
- Lodging in Fairbanks the first night and in Wiseman
- All meals and snacks in Wiseman
- Wine in the evenings in Wiseman
- Guiding and instruction
*Whenever possible we endeavor to follow our itineraries as written. However, on occasion our trips deviate from the written itinerary due to weather conditions, group preference, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what some have called “The Alaska Factor.” Therefore we suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.