25 Breathtaking Winning Photos From The “Northern Lights Photographer Of The Year” Competition

Recently, travel and photography website Capture the Atlas held its third “Northern Lights Photographer of the Year” competition, where the organizers picked out the best photos of aurora borealis from photographers from all over the world. They ended up choosing 25 winning photos, and they will absolutely take your breath away.

In a recent interview with Bored Panda, landscape photographer Dan Zafra said Capture the Atlas was created by himself and his partner Ascen back in 2016. Initially, the two wanted to help people plan their trips and learn photography, but the website quickly grew in popularity, and is now a reference blog in the travel photography industry, helping photographers from all over the world take their dream pictures through online and offline photography tours.

Dan says that after shooting the Northern Lights in Canada for the first time, it instantly became one of his passions, and since then he hasn’t stopped chasing aurora borealis all over the world. “However, photographing the Aurora is not as easy as it seems; it requires great planning, using the best settings, lots of practice, and one important thing… inspiration!,” explained the photographer. “Intending to get to inspire as many people as possible to know more about this beautiful phenomenon and to encourage them to travel and shoot it, we decided to create a Northern Lights photography collection to feature the best 25 Northern Lights images captured around the world.”

The competition is a little different from the others, and Dan explained how. “Photographers don’t apply, but they’re selected following different criteria like the quality of the image, the shooting conditions, the originality of the composition, and the uniqueness of the location,” said Dan. “Both Ascen and I personally curate the images throughout the year, looking not only for images taken by some of the best photographers in the world but also from new talents that are working hard to create those fascinating images.”

See some of the most amazing photos of aurora borealis taken this year in the gallery below!

More info: Instagram | capturetheatlas.com | Facebook | youtube.com

#1 “The Hunt’s Reward” By Ben Maze

Image source: benjamin.maze

Tasmania, Australia

“I have 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 astrophotography conditions one can witness in Australia, namely, the setting Milky Way galactic core, zodiacal light, and of course, the elusive Aurora Australis.

On top of this, a sparkling display of oceanic bioluminescence adorned the crashing waves, adding the cherry on top to what was already a breathtaking experience. Having been out of reception and civilization for over a day, fellow photographer Luke Tscharke and I had no idea the aurora would strike on this night. We’d just heard rumors of a potential solar storm. We could barely contain our excitement when the lights first showed up on our camera’s screens. We later realized we were in the best place on the entire continent to witness the rare show, with Lion Rock being on the southernmost cape of Tasmania and much more cloud-free than the rest of the state at the time.

The colors that our cameras picked up were incredible, too. Rather than the classic green, the display ranged from yellow and orange to pink and purple. When I’d captured enough frames that I was happy with, I simply stood by my camera with my head tilted towards the sky, occasionally swirling my hand around in the sparkling water by my feet. I’m forever grateful for moments in nature like this that show us the true wonders of our planet.”