Captions: The Stories Behind the Photos
Chasing the Northern Lights
Presented by Snapped
More than thirty years ago, a farm boy from Wisconsin watched the northern lights flash across the night sky and dreamed of Alaska.
He worked his family’s gardens with his hands, but he imagined using them to help build the pipeline snaking its way across the Land of the Midnight Sun, and even after his own children had grown and left the home, his Alaskan dreams remained. So, at the turn of the new millennium, Gary Kallberg took his wife and his belongings and moved north, settling down in the deep, cold woods outside Fox in the heart of the Last Frontier.
And when he looked up at night, the dancing green glow of the aurora seemed closer than ever before.
So he bought a new camera, his first DSLR, a Nikon 5000 that stayed in its box for nearly a month after he opened it. “I kind of thought I shouldn’t keep such a thing,” he said. But he did, learning to adjust the exposure and shutter speed until the northern lights flickered across his camera like they did across the horizon. He began going to bed earlier and earlier, waking up in the middle of the night to make his way into the dark and point his lens towards the lights above.
There are hundreds of photos – swirling colors twinkling across shadowy skies and flaring between orange streetlights and dark buildings – and Kallberg sells them on magnets and puzzles and playing cards and calendars from the small shop he built with his wife. They keep gardens, too, growing hardy oversized vegetables and Alaska wildflowers on the grounds alongside Goldstream Creek.
And most nights, the northern lights wave overhead.
“I am truly blessed,” he said.