A Northern Lights Showdown
Last night, the Northern Lights graced us with their presence as our boat flew through the icy fjord connecting Sarfannguit with Sisimiut, Greenland. We stood on the back of the boat, idling just so its passengers could get a good glimpse of the lights. I managed to capture this natural beauty on my iphone. Alice, digital guru extraordinaire, did not. I rubbed it in the rest of the night. Tonight, the Northern Lights reappeared and while I retreated to my hotel room, Alice snuck back outside and sought her revenge.
So excited that my iphone was able to capture the swirls of green light that illuminate the Greenlandic sky, I produced this picture. Oh, how proud I was.
Tonight, as we walked back from the UNESCO World Heritage Conference where we spent the day networking, work-shopping, and presenting (full report soon), we spotted the Northern Lights again. I retreated to my room exhausted, but Alice had other plans. Armed with one of her DSLR cameras, she went back outside. She just sent me her shots.
This is a Northern Lights showdown.
So...who won? (I can feel the betrayal already).
11/6/2021 07:25:17 pm
These photos are absolutely beautiful! I'm actually surprised you were able to get the lights to show up on your iPhone since my phone's camera always seems to have trouble taking photos in the dark. However, this is a stark contrast between a iPhone camera and professional DSLR camera. Personally I love the last photo as it also shows the colorful lights of the town and it gives me a sense of nostalgia. Alice did a very nice job with her photos. I quite like yours too! It reminds me almost of a painting but I can't quite figure out what painting it reminds me of. They're all wonderful to be honest so I think you're both winners.
11/6/2021 08:10:46 pm
That is so cool! The Northern Lights are such a beautiful sight to behold I wish I could see them someday. Hopefully there will be more sightings of the lights on your trip and if so I hope you share those pictures on your blog.
11/7/2021 05:35:07 am
I love looking at pictures of the Northern Lights. How often do they occur? Is it an every night kind of thing, or is it kind of like rainbows where the environment has to have certain changes?
11/7/2021 07:40:41 am
Quite frequently in the darker months (Sep-March)! It can be harder to see them when you're surrounded by a lot of lights, which is why they were so bright out on the boat far from town. You also need a clear sky, so those rainy days when we first arrived were not ideal for spotting the lights!
11/7/2021 06:57:32 am
I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights in person! These pictures make me want to see them in person even more now, especially with how they look above the town!
11/7/2021 10:40:35 am
Thank you so much for these photos. I always wanted to see the northern lights in person as well. Both sets are beautiful! Your iPhone did a good job. In my later years of travel, I have been traveling only with my iPhone, which really comes through for me, since I hate getting stopped longer at the airport with the DSLR, and it is so bulky to travel with. I hope your research is going well, and I can't wait to see the new photos.
11/7/2021 04:35:49 pm
Wow these pictures are astonishing! I personally like the last one the best, only because of the houses in the background. I would love to be there right now to see the northern lights. I knew you could see them sometimes in Alaska but completely forgot Greenland can see them too! Do they only appear certain times of the year?
11/7/2021 08:24:59 pm
Lol, sorry Dr. Allen but I think we all know the winner of this contest. Though to be fair, you were using an iPhone and she was using a professional camera. But either way, the lights are so pretty! I wish I could see them too!
11/8/2021 06:09:49 pm
I have accepted defeat!
11/7/2021 08:26:49 pm
Amazing pictures of the Northern Lights! While the DSLR pictures are much clearer, to me the iPhone picture kind of looks like a painting. Either way they are both great pictures! I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights in person. I would definitely love to see more pictures of the Lights if you happen to see them again.
11/7/2021 10:31:05 pm
Do any of y'all happen to have a video. I would of liked to hear the background for winds and any motion . you said a swirl in the night sky, so I'm actually wondering if you can see it actually swirling. Alice won this round sorry haha!
11/8/2021 03:49:28 pm
I didn't get a video...you would have heard a lot of waves lapping against the boat :) Some people say they can hear them 'crackle' if you are in a place quiet enough though!
Brianna N Novotny
11/8/2021 10:12:35 am
The pictures are amazing! Seeing the Northern Lights in person must be a experience. If you see the Northern Lights again take more pictures!
11/8/2021 04:37:09 pm
It would appear that somebody ate a heaping slice of humble pie for dinner that night. Someone learned the dangers of rubbing it in, for sure. Alice captured some incredible commercial quality shots of the Aurora Borealis “Northern Lights.” My favorite of the three is Alice’s first shot with the rocks in the foreground. It is absolutely breathtaking. I’ve never seen better. The rocks are so incredibly detailed and the green lights, against the star speckled dark sky, is quite vivid. Also, green is my favorite color.
11/8/2021 06:09:07 pm
I was...in fact...put in my place :)
11/13/2021 05:41:21 pm
Sorry Dr. Allen, but I'd have to say Alice is the clear champion here, however I can tell that you tried your best to capture the beauty! Every time i try to take a picture of the moon with my Iphone, it looks like a dot with tv static in the background, so you did a fantastic job with the lights. I think the best photo is the last one that Alice took, seeing the lights dance in the dark sky contrasts so well with the white snow and colorful buildings.
11/15/2021 04:31:03 pm
So just know I showed my Lady Friend the Picture of the northern Lights and she literally "Whispered Screamed" "THE NORTHERN LIGHTSSS!, I would go to greenland for that. I couldn't agree more with her. Its such a beautiful sight. Seeing it in person will be breath taking. How often do they occur? Is there any place that tourist can go and stay so they can see the lights?
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I am an anthropology professor, writer, researcher and global traveler. In fall of 2021, I led an experiential eLearning project connecting US students (and others) with the people, places, and industries of Greenland. I redesigned a research trip into a virtual field trip for my students who didn't have any Study Abroad options. All of the videos, photos, interviews, and storytelling are still here to enjoy!