If you had to pick one natural phenomenon that many astro photographers chase after, it would likely be the northern lights. Not only is it one of the most sought after subjects for astro photography, it's also an incredible display of nature's beauty. With all of this in mind, it's not surprising that the aurora is the sole subject of the Northern Lights Photographer of the Year collection from travel photography blog Capture the Atlas.
This collection has images taken from all around the world, including Russia, Finland, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Antartica and more. Overall, 25 photographer of 18 different nationalities contributed their incredible astro photography to the collection.
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Dan Zafra, the editor of Capture the Atlas, curates these images throughout the year in preparation for the annual publication in December. He not only considers shots taken by some of the most renowned photographers, he also looks for new talent and fresh locations where the Northern Lights haven't been photographed before.
One of the most impressive images was taken by Ben Maze in Tasmania, Australia (above), showing us what the Aurora looks like in the southern hemisphere. He says, "I've had the incredible fortune to witness the Southern Lights twice during two photography trips to Tasmania. Captured in this image is a trifecta of astronomical phenomena that made for some of the best astro photography conditions one can witness in Australia, namely, the setting Milky Way galactic core, zodiacal light, and of course, the elusive Aurora Australis."
Meanwhile, other photographers gave us a more traditional take on Aurora photos, with snowy vistas and arctic conditions. Agnieszka Mrowka captured a serene still of the Northern Lights over a glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. "It was late September, and finally, the perfect conditions for the northern Lights came together. +Kp6 converged with unusually calm weather and the moon illuminating the ice… It was a fierce and peaceful night to remember."
Discover some of the incredible astro photography from the 2020 Northern Lights Photographer of the Year collection below – or check out the Capture the Atlas website to see the full set.
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