I’m pretty sure that capturing the Northern lights is on every landscape photographer’s bucket list. Well, it sure is on mine. If you’re looking for inspiration and a reason to finally travel and see the Aurora Borealis in person, the travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has a real treat! The winners of the annual Northern Lights Photographer of the Year contest have just been announced, and we share the top images with you.
Like every year, the 2021 contest winners take you on a trip to remote locations from which viewing the Northern Lights is a true spectacle. This year we’ve got an “intruder” – David Oldenhof with his image of Aurora Australis, the southern counterpart of Aurora Borealis. I’m only joking, of course, the image is absolutely wonderful and rightfully selected as one of the best.
“The Northern Lights season ranges from September to April in the Northern Hemisphere and from March to September in the Southern Hemisphere. The best time to see and photograph the Lights is during the fall and spring equinoxes because of the orientation of the Earth’s axis,” explains Dan Zafra, the founder of Capture the Atlas. “Besides the timing, the other requirement for seeing the Northern Lights is a dark sky that is far away from light pollution.” But don’t get discouraged: you can view big displays of Northern Lights even from light-polluted areas!
In this article, we bring you the top ten images from the 2021 contest. And if you just can’t get enough, you can check out the whole gallery on Capture the Atlas, and take a look at last year’s winners, too. And these have made you start planning the trip, here and here you’ll find some tips for capturing the Northern Lights.