Glenn Randall Photography

Extraordinary landscape photography from Colorado and the West

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Auroral Inferno



Aurora over pond along the Prelude Lake Nature Trail, Prelude Lake Territorial Park, along the Ingraham Trail, near Yellowknife, Northwest Terri

Auroral Inferno, Prospect Lake Territorial Park, Northwest Territories, Canada

‚ÄčIn September 2013 I flew to Yellowknife, in Canada's Northwest Territories, to satisfy a long-standing urge to see and photograph the aurora. I knew the sky in Yellowknife was frequently overcast at that time of year, but I didn't anticipate just how consistently cloudy the weather could be. After one perfect night, during which I shot Electric Aurora and Auroral Arch, I was skunked for six nights in a row. Each night I went out and waited. Sometimes I stood by the tripod, hoping for a break in the clouds. Sometimes, when the sky was solidly overcast and any kind of break was at least half an hour away, I cat-napped in the front seat of my rental car with a timer set for 30 minutes. I would wait for hours, usually until three or four in the morning, before driving back to my hotel and crashing.


The weather forecast for my last night in Yellowknife called for still more clouds. I resigned myself to the notion that one night of great photography was all that I would get for $3,000 and eleven sleepless nights. Under cloudy skies, I hiked out to a favorite location along the nature trail in Prelude Territorial Park. At sunset, to my surprise, the sky was partly cloudy. I waited. Slowly the sky grew darker. The clouds dissipated further. An hour after sunset, the skies cleared completely, but only the faintest of auroras appeared. I waited. Two hours after sunset, the aurora began to brighten, and I started shooting. For the first time on my trip, my photos revealed a red fringe along the upper edge of the green auroral curtain. The display grew more and more spectacular, and I shot until 2 a.m., when I had to leave to have enough time to hike out, drive to Yellowknife, pack, and head to the airport.


By the time I got to the airport, the sky was completely overcast once again. The plane took off and climbed up into the clouds. Yellowknife vanished as if it had never existed. It was like leaving Never-Never Land. For just a minute the plane was immersed in a gray void. Then the plane burst through the upper edge of the cloud bank, revealing a glorious sunrise. Although I had been awake for nearly 24 hours straight, I pulled out my laptop and eagerly began examining the images I'd captured a few hours earlier. Once again I felt immensely privileged to be a landscape photographer.

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Glenn Randall Photography  |  2945 Colby Dr.  |  Boulder CO 80305-6303 | Office 303 499-3009  |  Mobile 720 320-7126

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I offer over 100 images on this site, in four or five sizes each and as many as five different presentations (loose, matted-only, framed, gallery-wrap canvas, and gallery float). It is impossible to keep every size and presentation of every image in stock at all times. Accordingly, most of the items I offer for sale on are hand-built one at a time as customers order them. It normally requires between five and ten business days to complete an order, but it may take longer if I am on an extended shoot. Shipping time is in addition to these figures. To get specific information about delivery time for a particular item, please call 303 499-3009 or email me. I will do my best to accommodate rush orders. Thanks for your patience!

All photographic prints, regardless of presentation (loose, matted-only, framed, etc.) are delicate and require careful packaging to be shipped safely. Accordingly, all online purchases will have a 15 percent charge added for shipping and handling. This shipping charge only covers shipments to the continental United States. Please contact me for a quote on shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, or to international destinations. If you would like to pick up your print at my home office in Boulder rather than have it shipped, please call 303 499-3009 (office) or 720 320-7126 (mobile) to complete your purchase and make arrangements for pickup. Alternatively, I can deliver prints in the Denver metro area for $1.00 per mile based on round-trip mileage.

All matted-only and framed prints larger than 24x30 inches, all gallery-wrap canvases and gallery-float prints larger than 30x40, and all framed panoramas wider than 30 inches, are too big to be shipped via FedEx ground and too big to fit in any standard-size art box. While these prints can be shipped, they require a custom-made crate and the cost is exorbitant ($300+). I strongly suggest that all customers who live outside the Denver metro area and who wish to purchase a print larger than the maximums specified above buy the loose version and take it to the custom frame shop of their choosing. Loose prints can be shipped rolled at the standard shipping rate of 15 percent of the retail price. I will gladly provide detailed instructions to the framer on the moulding I use and my preferred method of mounting and framing the piece.

I use elegant hardwood frames on all of my framed prints. The image above right shows the frame I use for the smallest framed size of this image. I use proportionally larger frames with the same color finish for larger prints. The moulding shape will vary, depending on the size. For more information on the frames I recommend for different size prints, please visit my framing page.

Studio Moulding frame 353-125 cherry Studio Moulding Forte 4934 mahogany-finish picture frame Studio Moulding Forte 4834 mahogany-finish picture frame

I allow returns for a full refund (minus shipping) for 30 days from the date of delivery if you are dissatisfied with the print. You are responsible for the cost of shipping the print back to me, including the cost of insuring it for the full retail value, and the print must arrive in salable condition for a refund to be issued.

All online orders are processed by Paypal, but you do not need a PayPal account to order. All major credit cards are accepted. Order processing through PayPal is completely secure. Neither I, nor anyone who might be able to hack into my computer, will ever see your credit card information. You can order online with complete confidence.

Contact information provided by the customer, including email address, telephone number, address, etc., is used solely for the purpose of completing the order. This includes information pertaining to gift recipients. Financial information including credit card numbers, expiration dates, and billing address is used solely to bill customers for their order. I will not sell your email address or any other personal information  to anyone. This website uses Google Analytics, which provides me with information on how users interact with the site. Users remain anonymous. Google Analytics does not collect any information that I could use to identify a specific person. This site also uses the remarketing feature of Google Analytics. Visitors who view certain pages on this site may later be shown ads relevant to the content of those pages  when they visit other websites. To opt out of all tracking by Google Analytics of your visit to this site or any other site, please install the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On. You can get more information on this software by visiting this secure Google site,