Northern Lights Photographer of the Year 2023 winners capture auroras in unlikely places

Dec 6, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Northern Lights Photographer of the Year 2023 winners capture auroras in unlikely places

Dec 6, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has published the winners of the contest every aurora enthusiast loves: The Northern Lights Photographer of the Year. Like every year, this gorgeous gallery has been published in December because it coincides with the Northern Lights season. There isn’t only “one aurora to rule them all,” but the contest recognizes 25 images as the winners, and we bring you a selection I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Now in its sixth year, the contest includes images taken worldwide, as always. Capture the Atlas editor Dan Zafra curates these photos throughout the year. He doesn’t only look for images taken by some of the most renowned photographers. Instead, he also focuses on new talents and new locations where aurora images are rare. This year’s selection is the best proof of it – with auroras traveling as far as the Balkans this year, some of the winners took their photos in places like Wales, Germany, Italy’s Dolomites, and mainland Australia. You’ll agree; these are not the usual locations for photographing auroras. The winners themselves come from 13 different countries, including the UK, the United States, France, and Australia, to name just a few.

I was happy to see some photographers I know among the winners. One of them is French photographer Virgil Reglioni, who shared with us how he took aurora photos on a steep “platform” in very harsh conditions. I was happy to see one of his “platform” photos included in this magnificent gallery.

northern lights platform
© Virgil Reglioni – “The platform”

The selection of images every year is based on the quality of the image, the story behind the shot, and the overall inspiration the photo provides. Dan wants to inspire other photographers who want to capture the Northern (and Southern) Lights. However, he also hopes to bring this phenomenon closer to every viewer. By doing so, he wants to prompt them to learn and discover more about this spectacular nature’s light shows.

When to photograph auroras?

The Northern Lights season occurs between September and April in the Northern Hemisphere and from March to September in the Southern Hemisphere. Due to the positioning of Earth’s axis, the optimal time to observe and photograph it is during the fall and spring equinoxes. But with solar activity being as wild as it’s been lately… You might have more chances during the year.

If you’d like to take photos and videos, read our ultimate gear guide for shooting auroras. In addition, you’ll find plenty of helpful information at Capture the Atlas. Look at the winners’ selection below, and the complete gallery is available on Capture the Atlas’ website.

Lead image credits: © Kat Lawman

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “Northern Lights Photographer of the Year 2023 winners capture auroras in unlikely places”

  1. Martin Gillette Avatar
    Martin Gillette

    This is due to the activity of the Sun. We are heading into a solar maximum which will cause more Northern lights and warming. So the next time you post some stupid global warming propaganda you will know the real reason the Earth is warming.

  2. Jay Chatzkel Avatar
    Jay Chatzkel

    Outrageous collection of Northern Lights images…Thanks for assembling and sharing them. I was at Gatlkelture site in Iceland, and had to look carefully to recognize it as an night aurora image. It was so windiy there during my visit. This was a true accomplishment to make this capture in such a difficult setting. Kudos plus!