This post is also available in: Deutsch
Heaven and its many facets have always fascinated mankind, and the technical possibilities for recording all these phenomena are now more diverse and advanced than ever before. Whether by day or by night, in the sunshine or with clouds, the sky offers numerous interesting natural phenomena, which offer themselves as photo motives. Some are rarely seen, but others you can admire every day.
We introduce you to three natural wonders, which are worth to turn your eyes and camera to the sky.
The northern lights are probably one of the most famous natural spectacles in the world and not without reason. Excited nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the atmosphere create colourful plays of light in the region of the polar caps, which are even visible from space. The polar lights vary both in shape and colour, which guarantees unique photos.
The Northern Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are best photographed from Alaska, Siberia or Greenland, but European destinations such as Iceland or Norway are also enjoying increasing popularity and also offer spectacular landscapes as a backdrop for your Aurora photographs. Statistically, October and March are the months with the highest auroral activity, but the chances are very good throughout the winter months.
Be sure to bring a tripod and choose a location with as little light pollution as possible, i.e. little ambient light. The polar lights are particularly impressive when they are reflected in the water or taken above a rocky backdrop.
Photographing the moon in the night sky is exciting in itself. It becomes particularly interesting when the full moon is especially close to the earth, in which case one speaks of a super moon. This event takes place about once a year and offers both astrologers and photo enthusiasts a sensational and rare sight. The moon is not only bigger but also brighter than usual, so you should pay attention to some things. A lower ISO value and a longer focal length provide good results, but you should also take a few more pictures than usual. When reviewing at home, you can choose the most beautiful photo and won’t be annoyed that your single photo has become blurred. In order to counteract blurring, you must work with a tripod. In the best case, bring a remote shutter release with you. Also consider whether you want to capture ambient light or not. The Super Moon is especially good against a backdrop that accentuates its size. However, this only works at the expense of the detail of the lunar surface. Here it is necessary to weigh up and act according to one’s own taste.
You can find even more tips for photographing the moon in the Guide for Lunar Photography.
Clouds can also provide expressive nature photographs. Clouds give sunrises and sunsets their dramatic character, take on various forms, tower up to the sky and can be found everywhere. A blue sky may look idyllic, but clouds give it expression and make the sky an exciting photo motif.
Since clouds are usually very bright, it is advisable to work with a low ISO number and photograph in RAW so that you can get the best out of your images in post-processing. Apart from that, there are no creative limits in cloud photography. From the black-and-white photography of dramatic thunderclouds, over penetrating sunrays, up to the intensive colour play of a sunset, clouds can be captured in the most different ways and at each day and night time. On your next hiking trip, try to climb above the clouds. If the clouds lie in the valley or play around a mountain top, this provides for particularly mystical and interesting photo motives.
The sky above us can take on various colours and shapes. From the play of colours of the polar lights or a sunset to dramatic thunderclouds or the glowing full moon, there is certainly at least one exciting motif for everyone. In sky photography, light plays a decisive role and offers endless possibilities to rediscover the sky again and again. Our selection should serve as inspiration to look up and not to shy away from supposedly bad weather.