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Cheetah rests in the grass of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, East Africa. Canon 1Ds, 500mm f/4L IS, w/1.4x (700mm) 1/320 sec @ f/8, ISO 200

I’m re processing many images from my previous international travels and I came across this one, which is timely since I’ll be visiting Africa again this year. I remember taking the picture, since it was it was baking hot in the white mid-day light when it is challenging to photograph. However, I still like the picture even without that special low-angle African light. The great plains of Tanzania don’t offer a lot of topography, and this cheetah found a small mound to rest upon as the Wildebeest migration was underway in the Serengeti. I can’t wait to return to this amazing continent so rich with natural wonders.

I’m playing a little catch up and processing the Antarctica photos from my January trip to Antarctica. Here is a gallery of 75 from that journey.

  • Kathy Richardson - A beautiful collection of images, Patrick! Every one of them stunning, as always.April 24, 2013 – 5:23 amReplyCancel

    • Patrick Endres - Thanks Kathy,
      I’ve seen a few of your favorites but send me over a couple more once you get through them.April 29, 2013 – 7:07 amReplyCancel

  • Jeff | Planet Bell - Absolutely. Stunning. Photos. The colors are very surprising to me, as we associate the polar regions with copious amounts of white ice and snow.April 23, 2013 – 11:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Mark Van Bergh - I heard that but haven’t looked at it yet. Are you joining him, or is he still working on you? :)April 23, 2013 – 1:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Patrick Endres - Mark,
    Hugh is leading another trip in Dec/Jan, you should join :)April 23, 2013 – 12:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Mark Van Bergh - Patrick, you are so mean. Don’t you know that torture is banned in most parts of the world? :) :)April 23, 2013 – 12:15 pmReplyCancel

Aurora over winter camp in the Brooks Range, Alaska. Canon 5D Mark III, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, 10 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600.

This is another photo from my recent trip into the Brooks Range to photograph the last show of aurora before summer. I was using a wireless remote to attempt some self portrait work, but the long time in the subzero temps caused some problems and it quite working. So I used a regular remote in the lock mode and let it take consecutive pictures. I’m in the tent, but in this frame, I’m a little blurry. I do have some where I’m more distinguishable, but the aurora is less dramatic in those.

My Canon 5D Mark III Rant

I’m including this picture to vent a major frustration that I have found with the Canon 5D Mark III. It has to do with my long time shooting style of the aurora, which is to use aperture priority with some compensation dialed in. With this method, the camera can make adjustments based on the intensity of the aurora. But… with the 5D Mark III, light leaks in through the viewfinder and influences the exposure values. This means that you have to cover the viewfinder when creating an exposure – which is a total pain. I have never had a problem like this with any of Canon’s other 1D or 5D series cameras, and I’ve owned them all. What did you do Canon? Yes of course, there are some work arounds for this, but if you have ever spent extensive time in cold weather at night, photographing the aurora, none of them are easy or efficient.


  • Ron Richins - I like the variation of colors in the this scene. They offer great contrasts with the greens, blues, and oranges. Nice winter scene.April 20, 2013 – 11:09 amReplyCancel

  • Rick - I found the same problem with my 5D3 down here at Denali Park after trying your Av technique last weekend. I have normally used Manual and the eye piece cover, but wanted to try your method. My lesson learned is to try one small procedure change at a time. I had a 7D shooting as well and was way behind the 8 ball. Enjoyed you new book and appreciate your blog posts.April 19, 2013 – 8:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Patrick Endres - Rick, in manual mode you don’t need the view finder cover at all, but I often shoot multiple camera’s and leave one unattended for a period of time, still shooting. While any variation of a view finder cover will work, it is still a major pain to mess with it every time you want to look and recompose. I’ll be exploring what actually changed in the camera design to introduce this into the Mark III series.April 20, 2013 – 8:17 amReplyCancel

  • Mark Van Bergh - Surprised the camera doesn’t have a built-in eyepiece shutter, that you can close for just such types of shooting. Something my older Minolta and Sony cameras have had for a long time. :-) I guess it’s really only a problem when you want to do remote shooting, such as you were doing here, and when light values are changing thus requiring different exposure settings.

    I think we all wonder at times why “our” respective camera manufacturers do some of the stupid things they do (or at least what we consider stupid things). They all do it. :-(April 19, 2013 – 4:57 pmReplyCancel

  • steve - Sounds like one of those wireless remotes with live view you can use with an iphone is in orderApril 19, 2013 – 2:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Brian Friedmann - While not up to par with your Canon 5D, my Nikon D5100 came with an insert to go over the viewfinder (which I almost threw away). I did put it in as we spent 6 weeks in Churchill (as volunteers) taking a lot of aurora pics. One thing we quickly found out was that you didn’t want to have to have anything go wrong or require much tweaking in the cold of Feb/Mar up there. Have been enjoying your blog and certainly your pics.April 19, 2013 – 11:27 amReplyCancel

    • Patrick Endres - Brian, Yeah, those little plastic covers are worthless since the get rock hard in the cold and you can’t effectively handle them with mittens or gloves on. I tried a taped flap, but that gets rock hard in the cold also.April 19, 2013 – 12:29 pmReplyCancel

Northern lights in the Brooks Range. Canon 5D Mark III, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, 15 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600

It is hard to resist the lure of Alaska’s arctic. It’s immense, wide open, unpopulated spaces, pure white snow, and rugged mountain vistas are the gift of wilderness that refreshes the soul. For me it was the last venture and quest for some aurora borealis photography before the darkness is consumed by constant sunlight. Even now, it was hardly dark at midnight, but still well below zero. I took this shot of the northern lights as they swirled overhead of Mt Sukakpak, in one of my favorite regions of the Brooks Range. Hindsight corrects all photographic errors and omissions, and this short journey, in spite of lots of experience, showed me how I could improve on some imagery. However, that will have to wait until late August, when Alaska’s skies grow dark enough for those shifting green curtains to show themselves again.

  • Bob Turner - This is a great capture. Mt. Sukakpak is a great feature in the image.April 29, 2013 – 11:19 amReplyCancel

  • Charles Howarth - As always Patrick, simply amazing. Thank you for sharing with us.April 18, 2013 – 6:35 amReplyCancel

As daylight floods back in Alaska’s north, the dark skies are diminishing quickly. The season for aurora borealis photography is waning, but there could be at least one last good show this weekend, if all of that energy recently blown off the sun actually hits earth. There is currently a middle latitude aurora activity watch in effect, which should begin in Alaska tonight (Friday) or tomorrow morning and last for a couple days. So, for me, it looks like I’ve got a day shift and a night shift on deck. Let’s hope for some action. And it’s not too late to check out my eBook on How to Photograph the Northern Lights, if you have not already done so. Thus far, it has received good reviews and helped many people capture some quality aurora photos. The Northern Lights gallery below are some of the photos I took on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2013 during a very colorful aurora borealis display in Alaska.

  • Фотографии северного сияния на Аляске - […] Источник […]December 18, 2014 – 11:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Mina Maric - Hi :)

    I have a couple of questions for you…I would like to take my boyfriend to see Aurora boreallis for his 30th birthday. Ofcourse, he doesn’t know it, I would like to suprise him. Can you recommened a place to stay? And the best place to see this magic? :)

    Hope I don’t bother you..

    MinaJanuary 11, 2014 – 8:16 amReplyCancel

  • Guy CHEVILLARD - Hi, Patrick,
    Since a couple of years, I had the desire to see an aurora; I looked for documentations , and I bought your book a few weeks ago. It is a mine of advices and motivation to go into the cold and wait for the aurora …
    I’ve been to Lapland 2 weeks ago , following all your advices , and I had the great pleasure to see the Northern Lights during the 1st night !
    Thanks to Mother Nature for this grat performance, Thanks to you for giving us the envy to stay outside with -20°C , with warm clothing and the DSLR ready as you wrote in your book !
    Now, I’m addicted to the Northern Lights and I’m sure my next travel will be for the Arctic regions.
    Not sure that I’ll be able to take pictures as fabulous as yours , but the results are quite good, taking into account that I had a short time to find the best place to shoot …
    Thanks a lot , Patrick !December 26, 2013 – 10:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Yuyun Wang - Stunning set!
    Patrick is rewarded on St Patrick’s Day! ;DApril 12, 2013 – 6:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Mark Van Bergh - What a fabulous aurora display. The photos are nice too. :-) Yes, I’m joking; great job capturing what must have been an amazing night. Even more so judging from the photos than the one we shared last October.April 12, 2013 – 12:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Patrick Endres - Mark,
      Both of those nights go down in history. I was less prepared for the March display however, since it was half social, half work.April 12, 2013 – 1:44 pmReplyCancel