Aurora Borealis is “the holy grail” for many landscape photographers. If you’re one of them, a hotel in Iceland has a unique offer that you may want to apply for. They will give you a month of room and board and cover your travel expenses. You don’t need to pay with money, but with your photos and videos of the Northern lights.
If you love astrophotography, here’s a real treat. Royal Observatory Greenwich has just announced the magnificent shortlisted images of its 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest. The photos were taken all over the globe, and even beyond: there’s even a photo of the sunset on Mars. So without further ado, let’s dive in and enjoy this gorgeous selection of images.
Two years after I received my first camera, I decided it was time to learn how to capture the night sky. One evening in December, I headed out with a headlamp, my trusted Canon 6D, a wide-angle lens, and a tripod. To make a long story short, I returned home with nothing I could use. My compositions were off; every shot was under-exposed and out of focus. Talk about a steep learning curve!
The next time I headed out, I had learned a few things: Check the histogram after each shot; it is wise to shoot exposures at a few seconds with maximum iso to nail the comp. When I had a composition I could live with, I changed the settings to something more ‘normal.’ During the daytime, I had found out where the lens had its optimal setting for having most of the scene in proper focus. I also learned that using autofocus in the dark yields a terribly frustrating experience.
The Northern Lights are on many people’s bucket lists. The celestial phenomenon occurs in the upper levels of our atmosphere. We’ve long sought explanations for these beautiful lights, and extensive research has come up with many answers. We thought we had it all covered until something strange happened. Recently, in Finland, a scientist discovered a new type of Aurora.
Each Aurora we see has a classification, it makes it easier to describe. For example, these ripples and waves of light got a cool-sounding label like ‘corona’, which describes an Aurora straight above us. The one that appears as if it’s falling straight down. This new observation, labelled ‘dunes,’ was discovered by citizen-scientist Pirjo Koski and her team in Finland.
Smartphones are getting smarter with every new generation, and so are their cameras. But when you combine a good photographer and a good smartphone, the sky is the limit. Quite literally. Zach Honig of The Points Guy recently shot magnificent Northern lights with nothing but his iPhone, handheld at a 3s exposure. He shared his experience and some photos with DIYP, so let’s see how he did it.
One of the biggest problems with action cameras today is their ability to deal with very low light. Or, to be more accurate, a lack of ability to shoot under very low light conditions. The new Aurora from US-based night vision company SiOnyx is a new action camera that claims to be able to shoot under light levels as low as moonlight.
Shots from an airplane window can be truly beautiful. And shots of Northern lights can be even more beautiful. But how about combining these two? Well, this is exactly what Aryeh Nirenberg did. This lucky photographer saw Aurora from an airplane window at 35,000ft and created a wonderful timelapsevideo that will take your breath away.