It all happened one night at Lake McDonald. Star trails sweep across the sky. A crescent moon is reflected on the water. The golden glow of pre-dawn, and the faint glow of Lake McDonald Lodge. Underwater stones along the shore complete the image. The night was photographed exactly as it happened, and it was captured in a way that we can never see in real time.
Behind the lens.
This one image is a combination of three different photography techniques, all performed without moving the camera. Startrails are captured with a time exposure, underwater rocks are highlighted via light painting, and the crescent moon and reflection is your normal press-the-shutter-once image.
This lake and mountain scene has been photographed millions of times by pretty much every visitor and every professional photographer that has landed on the shores of Lake McDonald. That is, millions of times in the daylight. All of the colors and textures that I have captured here were created on a totally dark and mostly moonless night in Glacier National Park.
Inside the box is boring -- photography is much more interesting outside the box.
Northern lights pulse and sway over Lake McDonald, in Glacier National Park, just after midnight on April 23rd of 2012.
Northern lights dance across a moonless sky above the Prince of Wales Hotel, built in 1927 by the Great Northern Railroad, painting the waters of Waterton Lake in waves of crimson and green. A faint region of the Milky Way (top right corner) also makes an appearance.
Behind the lens.
The Great Northern Railroad - an American company - opened this grand hotel in 1927 hoping to attract Yanks across the border into Canada during prohibition years in the states. It was named for the young man who became King Edward VIII, but he never stayed here.