Everywhere I travel I always capture a sunset and my arctic adventure to Churchill, Manitoba proved no different. On my first evening, I socialized the idea with my hosts and planned to capture it the following evening after we settled in. The itinerary included three nights in Churchill and sunset photos were hardly high on anyone’s list, we were there for the Northern Lights.
After a second night weather washout, I wondered if an opportunity might arise at all. On the third evening, with improving weather conditions I packed my camera bag for dinner. The opportunity seemed promising when after warming up with my “Manitoba Must,” a bowl of French Onion, I noticed the sun glaring through the window of the restaurant. It was time to put back on all my layers and brave the conditions.
I found extreme conditions not only provide learning points about yourself and your character, but also the equipment you use. When I walked outside I immediately decided to take an image from the porch, a test image, but my camera didn’t work. It wouldn’t turn on. I tried again. Nope, I quickly realized my camera battery was still in the hotel room charging. Did I bring a second? No time to check in the arctic air, so I took out my iPhone and snapped an image. I thought that could be it tonight, an attempt at the sunset spoiled by lack of equipment.
But when I went back inside to the warmth and searched, I did have the spare I recently purchased for this adventure and loaded it up. You see, the cold -40ish temperatures, (yes -40)don’t just take a toll on you, but also a camera battery. The extreme cold actually doesn’t drain the battery, but just stops the battery from creating a charge to take a image. In a sense it freezes and simply warming it up brings it back to life. Warming it up is no easy task and when taking pictures of the Northern Lights at night, so it’s best to have a spare ready while the original warms back up. You don’t want a lack of a battery charge to ruin the photography shoot.
After loading the fresh, warm, battery, I felt a resurgence and not only walked outside, but decided to brave the arctic cold and search for an unobstructed view of the sunset on the horizon. I crossed the street and walked down another street towards the train station and tracks. The brutal wind whipped into my face and against my pants. This was a new definition of cold, a hostile cold. But I continued to only notice what I feared, a train had just arrived to “block” my view. Or did it? Perhaps, it created a unique wintry sunset image from the true great white north. Let me know what you think?
Happy Sunset Sunday
stay adventurous, Craig