Whistler Aurora 4K is the culmination of more than 100 glowing night sky clips shot over the past decade by former local David McColm
If seeing the Northern Lights (formerly known as the Aurora Borealis) dancing over Whistler is an item on your bucket list yet to tick, you’re not alone.
Night sky watchers can now get a clear idea of what that might look like from the comfort of their couch, thanks to a new video by acclaimed photographer and former Whistler resident, David McColm.
As McColm explains in Whistler Aurora 4KIn his description, the stunning five-minute, 39-second video posted to YouTube earlier this week “represents a selection of the hundred or so aurora time-lapse clips” he shot between Garibaldi Provincial Park to the south, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park , has recorded to the north and Rainbow Mountain and Sproatt Peak to the west since 2012.
“However, the vast majority of the clips were shot in Whistler, from the valley floor to the surrounding peaks of Whistler [and] Blackcomb Mountains,” he adds.
The footage shows the vibrant green, pink and purple hues flickering across the Whistler Valley, with its lakes and rocky, snow-capped peaks playing a starring role. The videos feature the Milky Way, rolling clouds, lighted orange tents, chairlifts and even Whistler Blackcomb’s lighted night slopes. The footage brings to life many of McColm’s iconic photographs – which locals may recognize from past photo shows or his puzzles or postcards sold around town. It’s a far cry from McColm’s first foray into time-lapse work, after shorts like deep sky and Dusk to dawn. The photographer now resides in Ucluelet and is relocating to Vancouver Island in 2020 after living in Whistler for 27 years.
Because strong auroras are relatively rare over Whistler, McColm describes capturing the clips as “a labor of love.”
He adds: “Occasionally I have gone weeks and even months without seeing or recording aurora borealis. BUT on the rare occasions it did come out in a big way, it was worth the many nights I’d go out into the night and see nothing, except of course sometimes a pitch black beautiful starry night!”
The original music for this film was composed and created by Mahbell Music’s John Frame of Whistler, writes Mccolm.
The photographer said most of his time-lapse clips are in Whistler Aurora 4K were originally taken as individual photos with Nikon D3S, D750, D850 or D4S camera bodies and Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikon 20mm f/1.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 or Rokinon 12mm f/2. Lenses.
Either McColm or Frame may be contacted for licensing inquiries for either the footage or the music.