Babak Tafreshi@babaktafreshi

National Geographic night sky photographer | The World at Night founder | Science Journalist | Iceland Aurora PhotoTour September

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Ribbons of green aurora emerging from top of a snowy mountain in West Iceland, the last view we were watching last night after a massive display of the northern lights, thanks to the arriving solar storm and the equinox. If you are in the high latitudes, aurora is still active in the next two nights. It doesn’t matter where you are in those latitudes, look for anywhere dark away from city light preferably with open northern horizon. Be patient the best show might come near midnight.
See or click the profile link for my next aurora photo workshop in September.
#iceland #longexposure #nightphotography #lighthouse #julesverne #snaefellsnes @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeotravel

Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

A few nights ago in the southeast Iceland, facing a massive glacier lit by the northern lights. When aurora is in storm level like this night it illuminates the landscape, cast shadows, and dominates the entire sky. It is much less colorful to our eyes though the green is the first you would notice. The intensity of other visible colors varies in each person while red and purple are the next colors most viewers recognize when aurora becomes very bright.
Zoom in to the image center to find the diffuse “star” with an elongated halo. This is the Andromeda Galaxy, our neighboring cosmic island, larger than the Milky Way.

@twanight #twanight @natgeocreative #aurora #auroraborealis #northernlights #iceland #glaciers #nightphotography #astrophotography


A dark cloudy night and a remote lighthouse in western end of Iceland, not far from Snaefellsjökull glacier/volcano where Jules Verne’s story of Journey to the Center of the Earth begins.
Traveling in Iceland for my current aurora workshop with participants from across the world. See or click the profile link for the next aurora phototour in September.
#iceland #longexposure #nightphotography #lighthouse #julesverne #snaefellsnes @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeotravel

Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Slideshow of 10 iPhone snapshots of my current Aurora photo workshop in Iceland, today under dense clouds hoping for some opening at night.
#iceland #snaefellsnes @natgeocreative @natgeotravel


Last night in West Iceland with the winter Milky Way from Cassiopeia to Cygnus, faint northern lights, and a road-side icefall. The aurora forecast shows high activity on tomorrow night the 14th or 15th, though two weeks of great clear sky in the country has ended today.
Swipe left to see our group photo. Traveling in Iceland for my current aurora workshop with participants from across the world. See or click the profile link for the next aurora phototour in September.

#iceland #auroraborealis #northernlights #longexposure #nightphotography #astrophotography @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeotravel @twanight

Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

A few days ago at Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland, one of the most photographed natural landmarks. You find cameras clicking here anytime of the day or night. This is an iPhone shot, trying the long exposure effect on the Live photo mode where the phone takes a series of photos in a couple of seconds and then stack them together.
@natgeo @natgeocreative @natgeotravel #waterfalls #iceland #rainbow #iphoneography


This is how aurora looks like in real-time video, captured two nights ago in Iceland. Many of the aurora videos online are timelapse that shows the phenomenon many times faster than reality. This is the natural speed to the human eyes. An active aurora still has dramatically fast changes in real-time, every second. I first filmed aurora in 2003 from a deck of an icebreaker on the way to Antarctica. At that time the result was too noisy even with the top-end cameras. Now cameras are able to capture it in low-noise when equipped with a fast f1.4 lens. This was with Nikon D850, direct video.
My phototour here continues for another week and the next aurora photo workshop is in September:
#twanight #iceland #auroraborealis #northernlights #longexposure #nightphotography @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeotravel @twanight


Last night near midnight the sky exploded with bright aurora due to fast solar wind arriving at the earth magnetic field. This was the view from a large glacier in southeastern Iceland.
Traveling in Iceland for my current Aurora workshop, amazing display last night, it may continue tonight if you are in similar Arctic latitudes.
See or click the profile link for details of the next photo tour in September.

#iceland #auroraborealis #northernlights #longexposure #nightphotography @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeotravel @twanight


Last night near Vik in southern Iceland, low aurora activity allowed the Milky Way to remain visible in the dark sky. What a magnificent view over a frozen river. It was as cold as it looks like! Vega and Deneb are the bright stars in the sky.
Traveling in Iceland for my current Aurora workshop, great clear weather so far.
See or click the profile link for details of the next trip in September.
#iceland #auroraborealis #northernlights #longexposure #nightphotography @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeotravel @twanight


In Iceland for my current Aurora workshop, great clear weather but exceptionally cold, excepting high aurora activity tonight. Slides 1-3 are inside Harpa convention center in Reykjavik. Slide 4 are my good friends and Iceland partners In organizing these phototours @gislimararnas @saevarhb. Slide 5 is today on our way to the southern coast.
Wish to join the next program? See or click the profile link.
#Iceland #reykjavik #harpa

Reykjavík, Iceland

More northern lights and 2 announcements!
1- Due to a cancellation we have one spot open on March Aurora PhotoTour in Iceland, for a female traveler (to share), both for the short tour March 7-11 and the main one 11-18th. This last minute opportunity is on a discounted rate of 20% off. Email me (under my profile). The workshop info:
2- How to Chase & Photograph Auroras is my new webinar, includes both basics and advanced tips:

#astrophotography #auroraborealis #northernlights #iceland


Twenty years ago when I photographed this, it was a remarkable capture of the Milky Way on film with 45min manually-guided exposure. I remember being proud to display a large print of this at my first exhibits. By today standard it’s a regular shot which can be achieved on your first night of astrophotography with only 10-20 sec exposure, thanks to the digital sensors.
The second slide of younger Babak in 1998 shows planets and the moon at dawn with my first motorized telescope which I still own. For wide angle shots like this my Pentax K1000 camera was piggy-backed on the tube, only using the telescope’s star-tracking drive for long exposure, while I could guide the motor by monitoring a star in the eyepiece.
@twanight @natgeo @natgeocreative @natgeotravel #babaktafreshi #milkyway #astrophotography #astronomy #filmphotography

Yazd, Iran