Travel and photography blog
Capture the Atlas
has released the images from its annual Northern Lights Lensman of the Year contest which features 25 of the best photos that highlight the aurora borealis or australis captured from around the world.
The contest publishes these images in December to coincide with the Northern Lights season with the hope of inspiring others to leave and feel the magnificent low-cal testify for themselves. Unlike other competitions, this contest has no “winners” or “runners-up” prizes. Instead,
Capture the Atlas
simply selects and highlights 25 of the most inspiring Northern Lights in their publication. The image collections are curated throughout the unabridged year past Dan Zafra, the editor of
Capture the Atlas, where he looks for non merely images taken by famous and world-renowned photographers just too the new talent and creative eyes from all over the world, peculiarly from locations where the northern lights have non been captured from notwithstanding.
The Northern Lights flavour ranges from September to April in the Northern Hemisphere and from March to September in the Southern Hemisphere, with the best fourth dimension to run across and photograph the Lights being during the fall and leap equinoxes because of the orientation of Earth’s axis. The Photographer of the Yr 2021 list includes images by 25 photographers of 13 unlike nationalities taken from the United States, Canada, Russian federation, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, and Australia.
Below are 15 of the 25 astonishing images from this twelvemonth’s finalists:
“Nature and Landscape Photographer” – Agnieszka Mrowka
“Some other long and beautiful night in Iceland. I had had the foreground for the Northern Lights in mind for some time already and simply waited for the perfect condition to come and capture it.
” needed stiff Northern Lights, a clear sky on the Reykjanes peninsula, and calm, windless weather, which is quite rare in Iceland. The photograph was challenging in the sense that I had to run back and forth to adjust the settings on my photographic camera depending on the forcefulness of the Northern Lights. The identify I was standing was also a bit catchy, as in that location was not enough space for my feet, so I could not fifty-fifty fully stand straight. When the lights came, nevertheless, I was able to freeze, staring at the mesmerizing sky above.”
“For The Northern Lights” – Aleksey R.
Teriberka, Kolsky Commune of Murmansk Oblast, Russia
“Nature is mysterious and unpredictable, and often leaves us open-mouthed at the inexplicable manifestations of its power. This paradigm was captured in Feb in Teriberka, in the Kolsky District of Murmansk Oblast, Russia, on the Barents Sea coast.
“Tonight was definitely special. The perfect weather for shooting the Northern Lights came together: frost, water ice, a full moon, a articulate night, and no air current. The weather was extremely difficult; the temperature was 34 degrees below naught, but flames like these make you forget the temperature. I had a certain vision of the photo I wanted, and because of the farthermost weather, I had to build the photo in stages. Thanks to the moonlight, the landscape was nicely illuminated, and I got a decent balance with the overwhelming display of the aurora borealis.
“To get the most out of this opportunity, I took a combination of shots: i for the foreground and one for the sky. That style, you tin can run across more detail in the foreground while retaining the detail in the Northern Lights. It was definitely a dark to retrieve.”
“The Northern Lights Cathedral” – Frøydis Dalheim
Senja, Northern Norway
“This image is the perfect representation of one of my best nights seeing the Northern Lights in Norway in Senja.
“The views were stunning, with snowfall-capped landscapes, spectacular mountains, and a dancing aurora that colored everything greenish. It was truly a night to remember. The conditions were perfect this evening in March, non too common cold. The Northern Lights appeared non long after I arrived and lasted for a long time. I returned home really happy and grateful for this astonishing experience.”
“The Aurora Cave” – Giulio Cobianchi
Lofoten Islands, Norway
This was 1 of the about cute green nights I accept experienced since living in Lofoten. This was merely the beginning of a long dark of chasing the aurora until sunrise. I have been inside this subconscious cave in all seasons since I like to explore locations and find new compositions that have never been seen before.
Within the caves, information technology is never easy to photograph; you have to utilize more techniques in the shooting phase, such every bit focus stacking and multi-exposure, for example, but I must say that these are the compositions I capeesh the nearly. I honey the natural frame and the three-dimensional result that they give.
“Volcanic Aurora Borealis” – Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove
Geldingadalir, Republic of iceland
“One month into the eruption of the Geldingadalir volcano in Iceland, I was thinking a lot about whether information technology would be possible to photograph the aurora above the eruption. I tend to recall of it as the holy grail of photography in Iceland. It’southward a once-in-a-lifetime capture.
“That night seemed like i of the last opportunities we would get before the nights got too bright again. While the cloud coverage forecast was not looking particularly good, I decided to go up to the eruption anyway and attempt my luck. At around eleven PM, the clouds weren’t budging much so I decided to head back downward the mountain. Sitting downwards while waiting in the harsh, freezing wind fabricated my body temperature plummet. However, on the way back, everything changed. The clouds started opening upwards, and suddenly I noticed the aurora was faintly dancing above.
“I decided to put down my tripod and wait to see what, if anything, would happen. Subsequently about an hour, the lights suddenly became very active. I couldn’t believe my luck! I took shot after shot while just staring at the event that unfolded before me.”
“When the stars align” – Joshua Snow
Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon, Canada
“What a sight to behold. The incredible majesty of the aurora borealis. Lights that motility and dance through space. Fleeting moments of vibrancy and shimmery glow. Life is much the same experience if y’all permit information technology be. Learn to savor the little, passing moments. Learn to ebb and menses with infinite and time, and glow when the inspiration strikes. Look for no one. Finish for zip. Smoothen, trip the light fantastic, and shimmer your heart out considering you only go 1 life.
“This image captures my week in Tombstone like no other e’er will. After losing my dad in May and experiencing a full-on mental breakdown shortly before this trip, it felt like I was on a rollercoaster I didn’t know when would stop or even tedious down. Withal, I am learning how to beat out it back and irksome the ride down. I am growing leaps and bounds toward the best version of me that I could have ever imagined just a year ago…This week in the mountains gave me a chance to heal, call up, and feel more deeply than I have in a long time: slowing downwards to appreciate where I am in life, and reflect on what it is I desire and need from it.”
“Sometimes things can feel impossible. Hopeless. Scary. Merely sometimes, when things seem their nearly dim, their most hopeless, the universe reminds you that the sun will shine again. And how vivid it shines on me now…”
“Tranquil” – Larryn Rae
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
I was on a photography trip when aurora alerts began popping up on my telephone, so we started searching for a unique place to shoot them from.
We concluded up at this lakeside location, and as soon as the sunset faded and dusk fell, nosotros could already run across the color and shape of the aurora happening. The next few hours, the heaven was filled with incredible colors equally the pillars danced across the sky in one of the best displays I have seen for years. The aurora is my favorite nighttime sky phenomenon to capture and this night was but incredible.
“Wood of the Lights” – Marc Adamus
“Wandering around these forests coated in rime ice is one of the most magical experiences, but also i of the near difficult to capture.
“Temperatures are oft in the minus 30s and negotiating the easily broken, crusty snow on snowshoes with zip but a headlamp makes for great challenges in hiking and composing. I used the last light of twilight to prepare up the shot you see hither and returned to it hours later every bit the lights were dancing overhead.”
“Dancing on ice” – Marking Jinks
Edmonton, Alberta – Canada
“In the overnight hours of Nov iii/4, 2021, we experienced one of the nearly powerful displays of aurora in recent years at mid-latitudes.
“I had always wanted to capture the Northern Lights over this isle. After four hours of mediocre aurora, the skies finally came live. The aurora danced and shimmied across the sparse canvass of ice covering the lake, and varied in intensity as sub-storms flared up throughout the overnight hours. Coyotes howled nearby as if to voice their approval, and during the quiet lulls, a not bad-horned owl could be heard off in the distance.
“I took this image during one of the more intense periods merely earlier ii AM. The aurora can certainly be fickle, particularly in the mid-latitudes of Canada. Using Space Weather Alive as a resource and learning how to predict the Northern Lights can go a long style in having a successful viewing session. Being patient and having perseverance can oftentimes be fundamental to seeing a great brandish. Staying warm by dressing for colder temperatures than expected and having some friends along for company can help brand the experience much more comfortable.”
“Aurora Sherbet in the Apostles” – Marybeth Kiczenski
Bayfield, Wisconsin, United states of america
“The solar storm that wasn’t but was: the events that unfolded from November 3, 2021 into November 4, 2021 volition stay with me forever.
“The aurora sparked on this night was from a combination of an One thousand-grade solar flare and a CME; on their own, they were not much, only together, they sure packed a punch. No 1 really saw this coming, and we had recently been burned by the solar tempest that was merely wasn’t, i.e., the X-class event that never materialized. In any case, I saw the initial “hit” in the data, immediately jumped into the car, and drove 8 hours n to go abroad from the horrible cloud cover over much of the Midwest Not bad Lakes region.
“I went to a location I had never been to before – which is always a take a chance – but made it work somehow! Hunting for compositions in the night is always a challenge. The amount of color item in this image is amazing. I’ve never seen so much teal and purple. The whole night felt like a dream. Here’south to solar bicycle 25!”
“Santa’s Cabin” – Olli Sorvari
“I know the journey is often more important and memorable than the results, and after taking this picture, I think this was a trip to recall.
“Information technology wasn’t a long hike, but when yous don’t take snowshoes and you sink one-half a meter with every footstep yous accept, information technology kind of feels fifty times longer. The side by side time I get in that location, I’ll follow the skiing routes. The whole mode upward in that location was partly cloudy with no signs of the Northern Lights but finally, I could capture what I was looking for. I too managed to get some pretty decent shots of the winter Milky Way before the real evidence started, which was the cherry on the cake of this night.”
“Polar-snow monsters” – Sergey Korolev
Kola Peninsula, Russia
“At the very kickoff of my career, when I get-go started learning how to take landscape photographs, I was non at all impressed by photographs of the Northern Lights because most of them contained nothing in the composition other than the Lights and the heaven.
“I ever idea it was boring to have pictures of just the sky, just one day, I saw Marc Adamus’ photographs with the aurora borealis over some cute mountain scenery and I was actually impressed. Since then, I take had a new passion – taking Northern Lights pictures where the landscape and its composition play the main role, and the sky with the aurora is in harmony with the composition. In this picture, I also focused on the “snow monsters” in the composition to make this shot wait like an alien scene.”
“Spectrum” – Stefan Liebermann
“The full spectrum of the Northern Lights over the iconic “Vestrahorn” location in Iceland. What a dreamlike experience! A G3 (potent) geomagnetic storm hit the globe on October 31st, 2021, and produced these wonderful colors.”
“Norrsken over Vintergatan ” – Stefano Astorri
“Shooting the winter Galaxy and the aurora together was one of my ten resolutions for 2021. I never imagined I would fulfill this ane so before long.
“Information technology was a freezing, windy night. I went to this location in the Swedish Lapland, where I hoped to see the Northern Lights ascension right between 2 mountain peaks. When I was in that location, the “green lady” started dancing suddenly on my left while, right backside me, the Galaxy in her wintertime dress had joined the party. I was feeling very common cold until information technology was replaced by pure excitement. I immediately re-adapted the limerick to include the ruby-red cabin in the shot as well.
“The result is a photo that actually merges 12 vertical shots at 14mm (around 270 degrees) to fully embrace the ii overlapping arches.”
“Higher prediction” – Virgil Reglioni
“Northern Norway hosts some of the most beautiful and dramatic sights you can find in northern Europe.
“Some nights, stiff intensity auroras are predicted, which leads to incredible, bright displays spreading across the heaven. The cold temperatures form ice shapes past the riverbank and these structures assist straight your eyes in the correct direction.”
To see all 25 of this year’south winners, make sure to visit
Capture the Atlas. For those who want to learn how to capture images like these, the blog also has some excellent resource to help out, like this detailed article on how to photograph the Northern Lights.
All photos individually credited and provided courtesy of Capture the Atlas.