The highly commended image for the Aurorae category of the 2015 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
The Aurorae category is for photos featuring auroral activity - that is, natural light displays in the sky. The most famous aurorae are, of course, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which can take on many shapes and forms as they are moulded by the Earth's complex magnetic field. Visit How to photograph aurorae for expert tips.
Highly commended for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Aurorae category
Arild Heitmann's (Norway) shot 'Sumo Waggle Adventure' was highly commended by the judges. It was taken at the Lomaas River in Skånland, Norway, using a Nikon D800 camera with a 14mm lens, and at ISO 3200 and with an 11-second exposure.
'The conditions were perfect,' Arild told us, 'so I had the crazy idea to visit a slow-flowing river, equipped with my waders. I reached a good spot where the aurora was dancing hypnotically above me. I had been in the river for more than two hours and it was -15 °C, so when I finally managed to free myself and clamber up on the bank, it took exactly two seconds for my wet waders to freeze! My car was parked a kilometre away and I had to waggle my way over there like a Sumo wrestler.'
Competition judge Chris Bramley commented of the image: ‘One of the most magical things about the aurora for me is that its drama unfolds in silence. Here is a perfect visual representation for this: a silent, still stretch of river illuminated by the green glow overhead.’
Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition
The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by Insight Investment, is an annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos by amateur and professional astrophotographers. The winning images are showcased in a stunning exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.