“The lights dance across the sky, the colors are reflected in your eyes, your heart beats when you see the green on the back of your camera screen,” is how the blog “Capturetheatlas” describes the impressive northern lights or northern lights.
These majestic natural lights are caused by solar winds hitting the magnetic field around the planet.
When the electrons and protons of these solar winds hit particles in the earth’s atmosphere, they release energy. It is this energy that causes the dazzling aurora.
Magnificent light displays
These fascinating light displays can often be seen in polar regions around the Arctic and Antarctic. The best time to see them is in the fall and spring in places that are free from light pollution.
Capture the Atlas, a travel photography blog, has just released its annual collection of the best Northern Lights photos. The Northern Lights Photographer of the Year aims to bring people closer to this breathtaking phenomenon so they can better understand how it’s going on.
The photos were taken in countries such as the USA, Russia, Norway, Iceland and Antarctica by photographers from 18 different nationalities.
Pick up the atlas editor and Dan Zafra has been picking the standout images throughout the year, searching for new talent and images taken in locations that have not been photographed before.
“Heavenly Dance” – Sergey Korolev (Kola Peninsula, Russia)
“I’ve been hunting landscapes and northern lights on Russia’s Kola Peninsula for several years and I’m still finding new places,” says photographer Sergey Korolev.
The Kola Peninsula is a region of Russia north of the Arctic Circle. For more than two months of the year, it is only covered with the northern lights during the polar night to brighten the sky.
“I found this stone beach a few years ago on the coast of the Barents Sea,” adds Korolev.
“At the time, I was fascinated by the shape of the boulders that moved with the rumble of the ocean waves, as well as the steep mountains that rise from the ocean.”
“Lofoten Ice Lights” -Dennis Hellwig (Lofoten, Norway)
The photographer Dennis Hellwig took this photo in Lofoten, Norway. The region is known for its dramatic landscape of mountains, open sea and beaches.
“I was able to stand through a hole in the stream and use the tripod to bring my camera close to the icicles,” says Hellwig.
“It was so tight that it was almost impossible to work with a tripod. I also had to make sure my tripod legs wouldn’t break the ice. “
“Spirits of the Fallen” – Petri Puurunen (Finnish Lapland)
These ghost figures captured by Petri Puurunen are actually trees. The snow-covered candle spruce trees can be up to 10 m high and weigh several tons when covered with snow.
“The weather forecast promised clear skies and refreshing temperatures of -24 ° C. What could be nicer than spending a night like this than hiking to the fells and photographing trees covered in hard snow?”
“The crescent moon illuminated the landscape, so the conditions were almost perfect. As they wandered around looking for compositions, the aurors slowly climbed into the sky and disappeared just ten minutes later. “
“Antarctic Night” – Benjamin Eberhardt (Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory – Antarctica)
Benjamin Eberhardt’s picture shows an aurora over the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. It consists of thousands of sensors under the Antarctic ice and detects particles called neutrinos to study our cosmos.
“The South Pole is probably one of the most remote and challenging environments for photography and exhausting for both people and technology,” says Eberhardt.
“To get 24-hour time-lapse footage, you need a bit of creativity to heat and isolate your devices so they can run and even spin in temperatures as low as -80 ° C.
“In my case, this has been a month-long learning curve with a lot of trial and error and frostbite. When you master all of the challenges, you have plenty of reasons to be proud of your shots. “
“The Reward of the Hunt” – Ben Maze (Tasmania, Australia)
Although the northern lights from aurora borealis tend to be much better known, the spectacle can also be seen in the southern hemisphere.
“I was incredibly lucky to experience the southern lights twice on two photo trips to Tasmania,” says photographer Ben Maze.
“This image captures a trifecta of astronomical phenomena that have resulted in some of the best astrophotography conditions to be observed in Australia, namely the setting galactic core of the Milky Way, the zodiacal light and of course the elusive Aurora Australis.”
“In addition, a sparkling display of oceanic bioluminescence adorned the waves and added the cherry, which was already a breathtaking experience.
“I am forever grateful for such moments in nature that show us the true wonders of our planet.”
“Vikings in the sky” – Nico Rinaldi. (Iceland)
The sunset was really disappointing. In fact, the weather conditions were poor and it rained intermittently, but I kept waiting, hoping that conditions would improve at night and the northern lights would show themselves in all their beauty.
“And so it was! After a few hours watching the sky around 1am, the clouds were moving and the sky was already covered with the northern lights. I went to the place I liked and, full of euphoria took a series of photos from this unique nature show. “
“It was really a wonderful experience testing all of my night photography skills,” he added.
Visit capturetheatlas.com to enjoy the full gallery, with all 25 images in all their glory.