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“Still thinking about this months later”

The Aurora Chasers by Ronn & Marketa Murray
Ranked #2 of 52 Tours in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Witnessing Alaska's Northern Lights is an incredible and often once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make the most of it. Come along on an unforgettable journey with Alaska's Northern Lights Specialists, The Aurora Chasers™ as we teach you all you need to know about Alaska's Northern Lights and capturing their majestic beauty in your own captivating images. Do more than take a tour, take a life changing journey with the folks that live, breath and sleep the Northern Lights and come home with the amazing keepsake images that you'll treasure for a lifetime.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“Still thinking about this months later”
Reviewed 25 July 2014

My boyfriend and I did the Dog Musher's cabin tour with Ronn, and his wife, in March. We really wanted some nice pictures of the Aurora, but I usually only take pictures with my phone. After reading reviews on Tripadvisor, we chose Ronn's tour. This was probably the best decision we made the entire trip. Ronn is kind, knowledgeable, interesting, and a great teacher! If you are in Alaska to see the lights and want a memorable experience, not just through pictures but also through the unique adventure Ronn provides, do this!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank TravelswithAlyssaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Half Moon Bay, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Priceless”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

I visited Fairbanks in March in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. What I didn't know beforehand is that the human eye isn't able to see the full range of colors in the Aurora and that one must take a photo to fully appreciate the display. Since I didn't have a camera with me, I would have missed out on a crucial piece of the experience if it hadn't been for Ronn and Marketa.

For those that did come to the tour with a camera, both Ronn and Marketa spent a lot of time with each individual making sure their settings were optimal.

Ronn and Marketa also did a wonderful presentation on the science behind Auroras and the forecasts. And their personal anecdotes from their years of Aurora chasing were so interesting and inspiring. Their love of photographing and experiencing the Aurora was evident throughout the tour.

I was lucky enough to pick a night that the Aurora could be viewed. And the pictures Ronn took of me turned out amazing! When I texted them to my best friend, who is a professional landscape photographer, he commented that they are "priceless." I will treasure them forever!

Thank you, Ronn and Marketa for such an amazing experience!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank hiker_girl_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vail, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Superb Way to Experience the Auroras”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

This was one of the most fun and cool adventures I've ever done, and I've done some pretty epic adventures all over the world! For starters, it's intimate (max 8 people) and Ronn and Marketa are locals that will take you to their secret spots in the wilderness and avoid the popular viewing spots that the more commercial group tour places go.

If you are a budding photographer or just want to learn how to take decent pictures with that decent camera you bought for capturing memories, this is so much the way to go. They will help you with all the education you need to set your camera optimally for Auroras and the conditions of the night that you are out and you'll also learn basics that you can use in other applications. They also give a wonderful talk about the science of the Auroras that is really informative and interesting. Also you can very affordably rent any and all equipment from their referral camera shop and Ronn also rents tripods. If I go back, I will actually rent a high end camera and lens (I rented just an Aurora lens by Ronn's recommendation on this trip) and save myself the hassle of hauling my camera. Plus I'll be able to rent a much higher end camera than I own and the rental fees were extremely reasonable. I was pretty much a total newbie to a manual camera and thanks to Ronn I took away some amazing photos on both nights and now have a decent basic understanding of my camera and photography.

If you are not a photographer or are with friends who are, no worries. You can go hiking in the quiet Alaskan forest if you want (which is awesome!), or hang out in the warmth of the Mercedes Sprinter van while you wait for the Auroras to come out. I will definitely go out with them again if I go back to Fairbanks.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Nemophilist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SF
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Excellent Top of the Line Fairbanks Aurora Excursion Even if You Aren't a Photographer”
Reviewed 3 April 2014

I added Ronn's aurora photography excursion as a fourth viewing trip to append to the end of an itinerary in Fairbanks arranged by First Alaska Tours. I am a novice photographer with an entry level Canon t4i, and I wanted to add a photography-centered excursion to the three other standard one-night Fairbanks excursions I had booked (at Chena Hot Springs, at Chandalar, and a dinner/viewing excursion at a dogsled musher's cabin). While each of these excursions were enjoyable, I think that Ronn's tour is a MUST if you are lugging your DSLR camera and tripod up to Fairbanks intent on capturing the aurora in photos. Having said that, my three travel companions for this trip came along on this tour, even though they weren't taking DSLR pictures, and they loved it as much as I did.

Ronn's tour has the following differences with other tours we went on in Fairbanks during our stay.

1. Ronn give the guests step by step instruction on how to set up your camera before you get out into the field to enable you to capture the best pictures of the aurora, including f-stop, ISO, exposure time, noise reduction, metering. All this is done with clear and concise descriptions and instructions tailored for the exact camera type and model of your camera (of which you inform Ronn before your arrival). They also suggest some principles of composition to help you create the best picture of the aurora. They check up on you constantly once you are set up and help you through it if you have any questions.

2. While waiting in the van for the aurora to start, Ronn and his wife Marketa also give a very easy to understand presentation on the science behind the aurora, and also show the tools and analysis they use to predict when the aurora will show up. Very interesting and not something I heard on other aurora tours.

3. Ronn takes the van to a spot that away from the crowds but with fantastic views. On our night, our group of 8 had a north facing meadow surrounded by trees above the valley floor all to ourselves. At other tours to lodges, etc. there are lots of folks taking pictures and standing around, making it difficult sometimes to get the picture composition you want easily.onn uses his knowledge of Fairbanks and experience as a photographer to find a fitting spot based on the customer's traits (eg. desires, mobility).

4. Ronn and Marketa are also photographers with an enthusiasm for photography and aurora watching. Their enthusiasm is infectious and when the aurora shows up, they are just as excited as the people on the tour. R

5. Ronn and Marketa take their own cameras on the trip and use their top notch cameras to capture a picture of you with the aurora in the background - a priceless keepsake reminder of your Alaska aurora vacation.

6. Ronn and Marketa are far from the robotic guides you sometimes may encounter on these type of day-trip tourist excursions. They are warm, friendly, enthusiastic and fun to be around. Great qualities for guides making sleep deprived tourists enjoy traipsing in the freezing dark night hoping to see and/or photograph a phenomenon that might not even show up! It is clear that they are concerned with the safety and comfort of their guests, love doing their job and creating beautiful photographs.

7. Ronn's van was top notch, much more spacious and comfortable than the other vans we had been in for prior excursions that week.

If you are new to DSLR cameras or unfamiliar with nightime/aurora photography, but want to take DSLR pictures of the aurora, and want to take full advantage of the features of the camera that you are lugging up with you to Alaska, do yourself a favor and make sure you spend at least one of your nights in Fairbanks on an aurora trip with Ronn. Even if you aren't a photographer but just want to get a more personal aurora tour, Ronn's tour will not disappoint! My three travel companions had a blast, described it as their best aurora tour experience on the trip, and none of them had a camera!

http://www.ronnmurrayphoto.com/NorthernLightsTours/TourOptions

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank CT94010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, Ohio
1 review
“Top choice for Northern Lights in Fairbanks”
Reviewed 1 April 2014 via mobile

Went with several companies to photograph the Northern Lights during a week stay in Fairbanks at end of March and Ronn was the best.

After the daylight savings time change, the lights come one hour later than the rest of the season. Ronn's group was the only company to adjust for this, other groups insisted on going back at 2am, even as the lights were starting to dance, which was frustrating. Ronn is there for the photography, keep that in mind if that is your intent, will help you with the settings to get quality photos. Would also recommend him for those without a camera or a phone camera that won't be able to pick up the aurora, since he will take a couple of photos of you with the lights and email them to you. Look on his Facebook page if you want a preview of the kind of photo you would be getting.

Had a great experience with them both nights, would be my top choice of the companies in Fairbanks.

Helpful?
Thank Danwarnold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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