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Taken 1-Sep-07
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Dimensions4386 x 2920
Original file size8.29 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceUncalibrated
Date taken1-Sep-07 23:07
Kevin O'Leary Photography


While waiting for a helicopter flight in Kangerlussauq Greenland a Getty Images photographer invited me to join him and his team to shoot the aura borealis. He had heard that early September was the best time to see them. At that time of the year the sun never really sets in Greenland so we decided to head out at 3:00am and make a picnic out of it. He bought two bottles of Canadian whisky from the commissary and I convinced the restaurant at the military base to make us four dinners. We rented a jeep and traveled up to a glacial lake that had formed above the city. The Getty photographer said that if the lights showed it might be interesting if we could capture their reflection in the lake. There was no certainty that the lights would appear and as the hours rolled by we began to hit the Crown Royal to try and stay warm. We were lying down on the glacial ice on the shore gazing up when it happened. All of a sudden the skies lit up as if a celestial painter was using them as a pallet. I had never seen anything like this in my life. They just got brighter and the designs more fantastic. The two of us were firing off frames as fast as we could. Maybe it was the Crown Royal but it got so intense I though I heard the skies sizzling like an isotope. The whole thing lasted about fourteen minutes but it left the four of us speechless. Even if you were an atheist, that night you believed in a God. It was an emotional experience I will never forget. Our cameras captured the moment.