September brought abundance of polar lights to Norilsk
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September brought abundance of polar lights to Norilsk

October 01, 2021

Photographer Alexander Haritonov told where and how you can shoot a beautiful natural phenomenon.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In September, Norilsk people actively published pictures of the northern lights on social networks. This wonderful phenomenon has been repeatedly seen in our sky.

A well-known Norilsk photographer Alexander Haritonov shared his pictures with subscribers on Instagram, and he told This Is Taimyr about where and how they were taken.

“I took these photos on September 17th. It is believed that the northern lights can be seen only in autumn and spring. This is not true. They happen all year round, even in the middle of summer. But in summer we have a polar day, and the glow in the sky is not visible. And in the middle of winter it is too cold and foggy. The earliest I saw the aurora was 20–23 August, and the latest was early April. In Norway, for example, it is observed all year round, except for June and early July”, said Alexander.

The northern lights are not only a year-round phenomenon, but a round-the-clock one, reminds the photographer. It does not depend on weather conditions or time of day:

“The glow of the upper layers of the atmosphere occurs under the influence of the so-called solar wind, which is caused by solar flares. In other words, the main factor influencing the appearance of the aurora borealis and their intensity is the disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field. Therefore, in fact, this phenomenon is observed mainly near the magnetic poles of the planet”, the photographer shared his knowledge.

Today, technology allows you to shoot shine even on your phone. But, unfortunately, such pictures, as a rule, look pretty only on the smartphone screen. They are difficult to print even in medium format, says Alexander Haritonov.

“Today, in Norilsk, I know about a dozen photographers who capture the aurora with enthusiasm and excellence. They have hundreds of beautiful shots taken in our area. It is better to shoot where there is not a lot of light: city lights greatly interfere not only with shooting, but even simply observing the glow. I really want to shoot the lights against the background of the city. But without computer processing, such images are almost completely lost – there is too much difference in brightness”, concluded the photographer.

For the first time he filmed aurora in 1999-2000.

“Those were unintelligible shots, without even minimal artistry”, recalls Alexander. “And in general, high-quality filming of this phenomenon became possible only with the use of digital photo and video equipment. Few have succeeded in capturing the shine in all its glory on film – in any case, I have not seen such pictures. More or less often they began to photograph the aurora about 10-15 years ago. It became possible”.

Experts have already told about how to catch the northern lights. We also reported that this natural phenomenon would be predicted by Russian satellites. And photographer from Norilsk Mikhail Podolyak shared pictures of two more impressive phenomena – light pillars and a lunar halo.

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Text: Ekaterina Maksimova, Photo: Alexander Haritonov

October 01, 2021

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