The Yukon’s Northern Lights – Awesome Time-Lapses by Phil Hart

“My three favourite things in the world are mountains, aurora and snow,” Phil Hart says. That’s why in early 2012 he took an adventurous trip to Canada’s Yukon Territory to spend nine weeks in the frozen north, chasing the Northern Lights. “With four cameras and dozens of lenses, tripods and a truck full of extreme cold weather gear, I journeyed across the Yukon and chased every gap in the clouds I could find.” Three terabytes later, he had developed tremendous knowledge about shooting video and photos in the far North during winter, and was still in awe of the Aurora. Here are two awesome time-lapses from his trip.

The Yukon’s Northern Lights
This video shows some of the best footage Phil captured during his trip. To get such great shots, he used a Vixen Polarie, Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly and a custom controller by Fred Vanderhaven which provided pan/tilt motion control. “Most importantly, it provided almost fully automated day-to-night twilight exposure control,” he says. “The automated aspect is particularly important in the Yukon – a long twilight at -30 degrees means you can’t be standing by adjusting the camera the whole time, especially when there are three other cameras to operate.”

Curious about those cameras? Here’s the list: Canon 5D Mark II (*2) with 14mm and 24mm lenses, Canon 1100D (aka Rebel T3) with 10-22mm lens and Canon 5D with 8mm Fisheye lens.

Valentine’s Aurora
This time-lapse shows an incredible Aurora Storm viewed on Valentine’s Day during Phil’s “extreme astronomy adventure.” Most of the footage was captured from Annie Lake Road, which is south of Yukon’s capital, Whitehorse. It was Phil’s second night on location, and temperatures were around -20°C (-5°F) with thankfully little wind. Despite the freezing cold, he was mesmerized by the magnificent storm. “The Aurora was visible even before twilight had ended,” he says. “The storm was active for several hours and frequently held me spellbound with its brightness and fast movement.”

To see more of Phil’s work, visit his website or Vimeo page.

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Jay Long

Beautiful images. If one can’t actually be there, this would be the next best thing. Breathtaking.

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