Northern Lights with Gordon and Cathy Illg

Fairbanks is the place, March is the time! Fairbanks in March–for clear skies, easy access to the aurora and the best odds! Join us for a fantastic tour we have been running for a very long time. We can shoot right outside our comfy, warm rooms. No sitting around and waiting–we’ll wake you up!

Brooks Range Aurora and Winter Landscapes with Carl Johnson

This photo workshop combines abundant opportunities to photograph the amazing aurora borealis and time to explore Alaska’s most dramatic mountain range, the Brooks Range. The workshop starts in Fairbanks, Alaska, where we spend a night getting oriented to photographing the aurora borealis. We then drive to the remote community of Wiseman, deep in the heart of the Brooks Range in a valley created by intersecting rivers. Photographic opportunity and instruction will focus on various aspects of landscape photography, tailored to meet specific needs of workshop participants. Daily photo review will also be a part of the routine. Fee includes all meals and lodging, as well as transportation from Fairbanks to Wiseman. For more details on the itinerary, visit our workshop page for this event.

$250 DIscount for NANPA Members.

Polar Bears and Aurora with Carl Johnson

This photo workshop combines technique in photographing the aurora borealis with the opportunity to capture images of polar bears from relatively close distances. After a night of photographing the aurora borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska, we will fly to the remote Inupiat village of Kaktovik within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There, we will spend a total of 24 hours over four days on boats observing and photographing polar bears that gather in the area as they wait for the winter sea ice to arrive. While in Kaktovik, we will take one night (weather permitting) to go out and photograph the aurora borealis in this farthest corner of the Arctic. All lodging and meals included. For more details on the itinerary, visit the workshop page on our website.

$500 Discount for NANPA Members

NANPA Weekly Wow

Giant Clam Detail, Banda Sea, Indonesia © Peter Hartlove

Giant Clam Detail, Banda Sea, Indonesia © Peter Hartlove

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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Dance of the Spirits by Gordon and Cathy Illg

North America, USA, Alaska, Chena Hot Springs, aurora borealis and stars. © Cathy & Gordon Illg

North America, USA, Alaska, Chena Hot Springs, aurora borealis and stars. © Cathy & Gordon Illg

Images and Text by Gordon and Cathy Illg

It’s not that one or two things or even a hundred things are beautiful – every single aspect of the natural world is beautiful, even the very air around us. Using high-energy particles from the sun as brushes and electrons orbiting atoms in our upper atmosphere as a canvas, impossible abstracts are painted across the night sky in neon colors. Of all the astral phenomena that draw our eyes to the heavens, the aurora is the most spectacular. And, it requires no special equipment to view it, only a willingness to stay out when most people are asleep (and to endure some cold temperatures).

The Cree called it the “Dance of the Spirits,” and in the Middle Ages it was regarded as a sign from God. Today we call it aurora borealis after the Roman goddess of the dawn and the Greek name for the north wind. Its most basic form is a static green band, usually stretching across the northern horizon. As it becomes more active, pink, red and even violet are added to the palette. These colors can fall down in curtains or dance across the heavens in twisting waves, as if responding to music we cannot hear. A photographer could point a lens at the same spot all night, taking one photo after another, and never repeat an image. Continue reading