The 25 Best Northern Lights Photos of 2021

"Embracing the green lady," taken in Southeast Iceland.

"Embracing the green lady," taken in Southeast Iceland. Photo: Filip Hrebenda

Vala Hafstað

The travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has just published its latest edition of the annual Northern Lights Photographer of the Year — a collection of the 25 best photos of the northern lights. The collection, always published in December, is aimed at inspiring and sharing the beauty of this natural phenomenon.

"Whirlwind," taken on the Reykjanes peninsula.

"Whirlwind," taken on the Reykjanes peninsula. Photo: John Weatherby


Five photos out of the 25 were taken in Iceland, while the rest were taken in the United States, Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand. The 25 photographers who took the photos are of 13 different nationalities. One of the photos was taken by Fagradalsfjall volcano.

"Nature & Landscape photographer," from the Reykjanes peninsula.

"Nature & Landscape photographer," from the Reykjanes peninsula. Photo: Agnieszka Mrowka


“The quality of the image, the story behind the shot, and the overall inspiration that the photograph can provide are the main factors for selecting the images every year,” a press release states. An article posted by Capture the Atlas provides advice to other photographers on how to photograph the northern lights.

"Spectrum," from Vestrahorn, Southeast Iceland.

"Spectrum," from Vestrahorn, Southeast Iceland. Photo: Stefan Liebermann


The northern lights season ranges from September to April in the northern hemisphere and from March to September in the southern hemisphere, where the phenomenon is called the southern lights. The best time to see and photograph them is during the fall and spring equinoxes because of the orientation of Earth’s axis.


Capture the Atlas helps photographers plan their trips and improve their photography. The main focus is on landscape and astrophotography, and the articles include photography guides, tutorials, and inspiration.

To see the collection of 25 photos, click here .

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