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Aurora borealis.
Photo: Marius Birkeland
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This amazing video of the northern lights was caught in realtime

After ten years of northern light photography, Marius Birkeland finally caught the movement of the colours without time-lapse.

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“The northern lights are addictive. If you’ve done it once, you keep going out.”

Marius Birkeland is hooked. The photographer from Sortland, whose day job is with news site Vesterålen Online, has for a long time been taking time-lapse photos – a string of still images combined into a video – but often felt that reality surpassed the camera’s capture.

“The northern lights move so fast. If your shutter is set to two seconds, a lot of it is lost, like the movements of the pinks. I have always wanted to film what it actually looks like.”

Last week, he finally succeeded. Together with a friend and a Sony a7sii camera that is more sensitive to light, he embarked on a photo safari on Andøy.

Whereas the light sensitivity his regular DSLR equipment will allow settings of about 5,000 to 6,000 ISO, his new gear goes up to 50,000 ISO – which was what he needed to capture a shimmering corona on video in realtime.

He says the moment when everything came together was amazing.

“It was an adrenaline moment, to be frank. This is the first time I’ve felt really, really satisfied”, Birkeland says.

“When you stand around freezing for hours on end, this is the thing you’re waiting to see. The sky opening up above you and the colours spreading out across its entirety.”

“Who was the first person you showed it to?”

“Snapchat. Hahaha.”

The response to his video has been great. After first showcasing it at Vesterålen Online, it has so far spread to both Norwegian broadcaster NRK as well as newspapers Harstad Tidende and iTromsø.

Birkeland has been photographing the Norwegian nature up in the north for a decade now. Northern lights in the wintertime, with summer offering sunsets, landscapes and animals.

“That’s the time when I go looking for fox hives and things like that, to get pictures of baby foxes.”

Baby fox :)

Et bilde publisert av Marius Birkeland (@m_birkeland83)

 

“Why did you choose to focus on nature?”

“From when I was very young, I’ve always been dragged along to all kinds of nature hikes. As an adult, I kept going into nature. And going off into the wild to find a good image is a lot more challenging.”

See more of Marius Birkeland’s pictures here.

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