Each of the past three years, I've made an exception when it comes to wee-morning photography. It's now an annual tradition to hike somewhere south of Anchorage with Layla to create a Moon Light Dog, Layla photograph.
This year, I was joined by two friends who brought along their four dogs for the fun.
The image of Layla was a bit experimental and quite technical. Here's how it happened.
We hiked up a short mountainside (Glen Alps/Chugach Range) for about 10 minutes. I was carrying 40+ pounds of gear - much more equipment than was needed but if I don't bring it all I'll need it.
The camera was mounted to a professional tripod. I used wireless transmitters to communicate to the shutter without touching the camera. Every touch of the camera can blur a photo with time exposures.
I positioned Layla. Asked her stay. I walked away from the camera and Layla - in the direction I wanted her to look. Then, I signaled the camera to fire for a 30-second exposure. Layla had to stay completely still throughout.
During the exposure - because there was no moonlight whatsoever - I threw light on Layla with four bursts of my flashlight.
We followed this procedure six times. Each exposure produced a different view of the dancing aurora borealis.
No photoshop/fancy computer tricks. Just photography and beautiful once in a lifetime dog named Layla.