September 13, 2011 /

Northern Lights in Temagami

Each summer I’m fortunate to spend some real quality time with my family in a very special place called Lake Temagami. The lake is protected by a an agreement called the SkyLine Reserve effectively limiting the cutting of trees or any development on the mainland. Translation: no car noises, no light pollution, and water clean enough to drink (in fact we do.. all summer long!).  We have a cabin there on Bear Island accessible only by boat.  Its more like camping than like being at a cottage.  For the first three years we had no running water and no electricity and lived out of a cooler, hauling drinking water in buckets from the lake and cooking on a propane bar-b-que. Today, two solar panels and four batteries provide enough power to run a small water pump and a few reading lights at night. Still no telephone or internet and we do our business in a two seater outhouse! Below is the view from our primary dock which faces due north.  That’s the Aurora Borealis. Look closely and you can make out the big dipper low near the water. It really is an amazing experience.  What you don’t get in this picture is the sound of the loons which sing to us every night, so I’ve also added a 30 second video below the image! Turn up the volume and watch this amazing natural phenomenon.

Listen to the haunting calls of the loons during this amazing display of Northern Lights as seen from our north facing dock on Bear Island, Lake Temagami, Ontario.


Very cool David. I’ve always wanted to see that.

Well, there are no guarantees, Des, but you are most welcome to sit on the dock with us next summer and look out for it 🙂

David — apparently your photo is being emailed between Temagami cottagers — my Dad sent this to me.

I’m from a 3rd generation of Temagami islanders and have spent part of most summers there since I was 5 yrs. old — let’s just say the summers have added up! I have only seen a handful of northern lights during my time there but nothing that compares.

This is one spectacular photo – absolutely captures the beauty of Temagami. This shot would be pointed in the direction of our island (we’re in the NW arm of the lake from Bear Island).

Are you selling or planning to sell prints? Do you have any additional Temagami photos you plan to release?

Would love to hear from you. Will be out of town for the next week in case you respond and I don’t.

Hi Lisa. My apologies for not responding sooner. Your comment inspired me to make this photo available but, when you contacted me back in September, I had no way of satisfying your request. After a few months of research and testing, I’m happy to report that I can now provide a print of the highest possible quality. I’ve uploaded the file to a SmugMug gallery where you can easily order prints and other products and have them delivered right to your door. Already I’ve had several clients (family portraits mostly) use this service and have had nothing but positive feed back on both the quality and price. In addition to the photo you’ve seen, I also added several others which I thought you might find of interest. SmugMug offers a variety of paper types including lustre, glossy, matte, metallic (which I think may work well for this print), even canvas. When ordering, be careful to choose a size that does not crop the image as this would detract from the print. For a full frame of this print, sizes that work well are 4×6, 8×12, 10×15, 12×18, 16×24, 20×30, 24×36, and 30×45. I’m planning to order a 30×45 mounted in a black box or chocolate box (check out the video for that product at the bottom of the SmugMug order page). On their merchandise page, they also offer 252 piece photo puzzles which look awesome! One final note. I actually uploaded two versions of your image with slightly different color tones because I just couldn’t decide which one I liked best. Either one will look great. Oh, by the way, my wife and I are both professional photographers in Cayman and spend the summers in Temagami. Up to now, we haven’t tried to do any work up there but, now that the kids are older, we are thinking of offering family portraits and unique property photos as an excuse to get out and see more of the lake and meet the neighbors. If you or any of your friends are interested, let us know. Let me know how it goes and I hope to see you on the Lake!

David, we also vacation every summer on Temagami. Definitely a slice of heaven! What island number are you on? We are up in the NW Arm. I’m very interested in seeing other photos that you have taken, please post them asap.

Amazing photograph! My dog LOVES the sound of the loons! Have to visit.

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