The 25 Most Spellbinding Photos of the Northern Lights

The winners of the Northern Lights photography competition capture the magic and mystery of the Aurora Borealis

Jack Shepherd
Published in
11 min readMar 16, 2021


All photos via Capture the Atlas

If If you happen to feel a great disturbance in the magnetosphere, it might be because some charged particles from the sun are bopping around in there. And as freaky as that sounds, it’s actually no cause for alarm (as far as I know?). What it is the cause of though, is an Aurora — glowing polar lights named after the Roman goddess of dawn that are just one more reason that our planet is a magical place.

These 25 gorgeous photos of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights (borealis is Late Latin for “North Wind”) were selected by the Travel Photography Blog Capture the Atlas as winners of their Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition, which aims to “inspire and share the beauty of this natural phenomenon” by highlighting the most powerful and evocative images of the Aurora Borealis captured around the world.

“Under a Canadian Sky” — Parker Burkett

British Columbia, Canada.

Racing to find a good location as the Lights came out, we just barely caught the tail end of the show. A quick sprint to the lake edge, and the magic happened. Experiences like these remind me that sometimes I need to stop and enjoy what’s in front of me.

“Vikings in the Sky” — Nico Rinaldi


When I finally visited this location, it left me totally amazed: an imposing mountain lying on a volcanic black sand beach, surrounded by large dunes created by the wind. It was a concentration of beautiful natural elements that really impressed me.

“Affirmation” — William Patino



Jack Shepherd

I have a newsletter about crossword puzzles and a podcast about rom-coms. Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail