The Northern Lights (aka aurora borealis), one of the most spectacular scientific phenomena, is on my personal bucket list of things to see in real life. I'd get technical about this eye-widening event but I'll let these photos do the talking. Look and be amazed.
I would probably be in tears while looking at and shooting the Northern Lights, if I ever get the chance. Just look at how unbelievably beautiful and transcendental the skies are in these images:
If you wanna get geeky about it, Squidoo breaks down this nocturnal occurrence:
"The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, is a spectacular natural light phenomena in the skies of northern polar regions, scientifically explained as caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth’s magnetic field in the upper atmosphere.
The aurora may appear as a diffused glow or as light curtains extending in the east-west direction, or at other times, as quiet arcs. Active auroras evolve and change constantly. Each curtain consists of many parallel rays, each lined up with the local direction of the magnetic field lines. The Aurora Borealis is at their most dazzling from December to March when nights are longest and the sky darkest and they are commonly visible between 60 and 72 degrees north latitudes.
Check out 100 photos of the Northern Lights here.
Some make a living by capturing this awesome event and Dennis Anderson, a strictly analog photographer, is one of them. He says only film can produce the high-resolution images he needs and refuses to shoot the aurora borealis digitally.
He hand-built his Franken-Cam, a camera with each frame measuring to about 21 / 2 inches by 31 / 2 inches, “much bigger than the film used in conventional cameras and have a resolution of 40 megapixels, about twice as many as the best digital camera,” according to The Washington Post".
His special cameras—he brings 10 to 12 for a trip—don’t have shutters as he needs to manually control the long exposures. “I’m lens-capping like your great-great-grandfather did 100 years ago,” he says. Anderson shoots by removing the lens cap, holding the black-painted bottom of a coffee can in front of the aperture, waits for the lights to dance in the sky, then pulls back this “black hat” so the images would be imprinted on the film.
View a gallery of Anderson’s aurora borealis film photographs here.
I swear, I will witness the aurora borealis myself later in life. For now, I’m fixated on these great photos. Have you seen or shot the Northern Lights yourself? Why don’t you show me your photos and make me a little more jealous?