Giant Star Trails

Star trails in the north can be tricky. The long exposures that are needed to show the rotation of the stars are often blown out by the aurora. Thankfully, with digital photography and Photoshop, we can now use multiple frames to build the star trails without over exposing the photos.


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Snow Castle Aurora

The lure of the ice road, the challenge of setting the camera to the proper exposure before my fingers freeze. Then the creative ways to stay warm while waiting for the aurora to do their thing. Tonight’s warming activity was dubbed “Run Twice Around the Castle”.

The featured photo is of the Snow King’s Par King lot and the ice sculptures that the King and his crew build each winter.

The castle is illuminated by some colourful flood lights. The make getting an exact exposure a little difficult, but it sure looks pretty.

Yellowknife’s aurora and the Snow Castle are the two biggest tourism draws for the capital of the NWT. Photographing them together is something I can’t help but be tempted to do.

Aurora, Canada, James MacKenzie Photo, northern lights, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, NT, NWT, Snow Castle, Snow King, Yellowknife

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Inuvik Igloo Church

The Inuvik Igloo Church has been one of my bucket list things to photograph in the NWT. With this unique angle, I’m happy to give it a big check mark.

I shot this photo on a full-frame camera with a 17mm tilt-shift lens. Starting with my main photo, I then used the shift and rotation of the lens to capture more of the ceiling and painted windows. In all, this is made up of 7 photos.

The result is a unique look at the shape of the room without any of the distortion you would get from a fisheye lens or ultra-wide angle lens.

For more information about Inuvik’s Igloo Church, check out this link:

Igloo Church, Inuvik, James MacKenzie, James MacKenzie Photo, NWT, NT, Northwest Territories, Religion, Catholic, Church

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Catching Aurora

Last night was a great night for aurora photography.
These two photos were taken over a few hours to allow for the star trails to form.


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Northern Trails


I’ve spent a few years playing with long exposures and star trails. The hardest part about shooting them in the North is that when it is dark enough to shoot them, the aurora get in the way.

I knew that I could take multiple photos and then stack them in post processing, but I never knew what the end result would look like until now.

This is a series of 104 photographs shot over 22 minutes on Yellowknife Bay. It is my first attempt at stacking photos like this, but I think it will be my norm from now on. I love the results!

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Sunset at the Falls

One of the most visited and photographed locations around Yellowknife is Cameron Falls.
I’ve spent many visits trying to find a way to shoot them that hasn’t been seen before.

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The Northern Life

Living in the North has its perks for sure. In the day to day business of life, a lot of these things can be overlooked or dismissed.

Foxes can be seen all over Yellowknife. People become so familiar with the foxes that live around their houses that they can tell you what their daily habits are. Some have even been named.

A few are so accustomed to being around people they get within a few feet of them. But the fact remains that these are wild animals and will attack if provoked, or see an opportunity to get an easy meal.

Even on cloudy nights, the northern lights come out to play. This amazing phenomena, that happens virtually every night, is one of my most favourite reasons for living in the North. These lights made me want to be a photographer, and they are still a challenge to capture in a unique way.

It is tough trying to convince people to stay up until 4am on a week night to watch them with me though…

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