Aurora Borealis Photo Workshops

AT Photography offers Aurora Borealis Photography Workshops in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.

*** Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no workshops are currently offered. We hope to resume our sessions in Winter 2022***

Seeing the northern lights is always breathtaking, and for most people, the trip of a lifetime. For photographers, capturing the beautiful lights is extremely satisfying although more challenging than one might think.

We want photographers to have an amazing experience, and bring home beautiful images of Aurora Borealis by sharing our knowledge of photographing the northern lights, and night photography in cold climates. We take small groups of photographers for a personalized and tailored experience. Armelle is passionate about Aurora photography. After multiple trips and gaining  a lot of experience in using photographic gear in challenging conditions in northern Canada, she co-founded AT Frosted Lens. AT Frosted Lens provides accessories to protect photo equipment, such as the Camera Parka.

In Yellowknife, the Aurora season runs from mid-September to mid-April. We offer workshops twice a year, usually at the beginning of Fall and in Winter.

Why beginning of Fall and  Winter?

Fall in September is the beginning of the Aurora viewing season with nights getting longer. By mid-September, we can count on 12 hours of night time. Night emperatures are around 0°C or just around freezing, so we don’t have to deal with extreme cold for photographers and photo gear. Instead, one can expect dew and frost at night. Lakes are not frozen at this time of the year, and photographers can capture reflections of northern lights in water. It is also well documented that aurora activity around the fall equinox can be higher and stronger. We recommend this time of the year for photographers new to night photography, and who do not want to experience extreme cold.

Aurora at Pontoon lake

Northern Lights at Pontoon lake, Northwest Territories.

Winter. January and February have long nights; March is almost the end of the Aurora viewing season but there are still about 10-12 hours of night time. Temperatures are on the cold side, usually between -20°C and -40°C without wind chill. Photographers have to deal with issues related to extreme cold, such as frozen fingertips, using cameras with gloves, cold feet, and frozen photo gear. It is absolutely essential to be well prepared to spend hours outside – we cover this in the introductory seminar. So why go at this time of the year? Long nights and frozen lakes. We drive on ice roads to locations with more open space, away from crowds and light pollution. Standing on the middle of a frozen lake is quite an experience in itself!

Aurora Borealis in Yellowknife NWT

Northern Lights over Yellowknife Bay.

Upcoming workshops

***Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no workshops are currently offered. We hope to resume our sessions in Winter 2022***

One night Aurora Borealis workshops  in Yellowknife – TBD

We take two photographers maximum for our one night Aurora Borealis workshop to offer you a tailored experience.

We cover the fundamentals of Aurora photography around a hot drink, and ensure that photographers are prepared for a night out.

At night, we chase the northern lights and travel to different locations for various backgrounds and foregrounds. We aim to be on site by 9pm but there is no set start and end time: we closely monitor potential northern light activity and cloud coverage, and we pick you up as soon as there is a chance to see Aurora, so be ready to leave before sunset! We relocate when needed or wanted. We stay out as long as the group decides, keeping in mind that safety (related to cold) comes first. We provide guidance and advice to set up photo equipment, manual focus at night and photographing the northern lights throughout the night.

We also provide transportation to/from workshop activities to your downtown accommodation.


  • Dates:  TBD
  • What: One night photography workshop, 1 hour introductory session on northern light photography, and 2 hour daytime photography in town. Maximum 2 photographers.
  • Location: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.
  • Cost (CAD $ per person): $140 + GST for workshop fee and travel to photo locations. Not included: travel to/from Yellowknife, accommodation, meals, warm clothing and photo gear. BONUS: protective camera cover included for the night – Camera Parka Pro
  • Confirmation: spots must be fully paid to be considered held.
  • Cancellation policy: 100% refundable if we do not go out because of bad weather. No refund if we go out and there are no northern lights.
  • Disclaimer on weather and conditions: Participants are expected to spend long hours outdoor and should dress accordingly. Sunset and sunrise are around 4-5pm/9am. Temperatures in Yellowknife in January/February are around -20 to -40°C at night (sometimes colder with windchill) – it is essential to wear warm and wind resistant clothing, good boots and protects hands when taking pictures. The average humidity is high, around 80%, and the dew point is very close to outside temperatures. Frost or dew can be expected on lenses and cameras at night. Aurora borealis activity cannot be guaranteed to appear at any specific time, and clear skies are not guaranteed either.

More information and registration: contact info {at}

Northern lights - Yellowknife

Aurora Borealis – Walsh lake, Northwest Territories


Past workshops

March 2, 2019 and September 23, 2016 – Atelier de photographie d’aurores boréales

Avec le Collège Nordique Francophone de Yellowknife. ** Three hour workshop in French. **

Cet atelier de 3 heures, alliant théorie et pratique, s’adresse à des photographes amateurs débutants ou intermédiaires désirant se familiariser ou approfondir leurs techniques pour photographier les aurores boréales. Les participants (maximum 12) bénéficient d’un support individuel et personnalisé pendant la session pratique. Ils sont également priés de fournir leur transport pour se rendre au lieu de la sortie. Le but de cet atelier est que chaque participant maitrise réglages et composition pour photographier les aurores boréales, la mise au point en mode manuel pour des étoiles parfaitement nettes sur toutes photos de nuit, et des conseils pour améliorer les prises de vue.

Objectifs de l’atelier
– Introduction aux techniques spécifiques de photographie des aurores boréales
– Introduction aux réglages des appareils et à leur protection
– Séance pratique de photographie d’aurores boréales

September and March 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019– One night Aurora Borealis workshops



There are 3 comments

  1. Mark Woodruff

    Can you please tell me if you are available for 2 adults on Sat Sept 7: we will be staying at Chateau Nova. We are visiting family in Yellowknife for that weekend.
    Also I am not clear, is this just a night time photo tour? I was not sure about the daytime component you describe.

  2. Madeleine Sung

    I will be visiting the States in mid December, I would like to check if you offer any workshops during that time?
    Would it be too cold in December? If it is ok, I can arrange my time to come to Yellow Knife for a few days to join the workshop.
    Thank you.


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