Fairbanks aurora chaser captures amazing images of night sky

A Fairbanks photographer and UAF student spends his evening capturing stunning aurora images
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 6:29 PM AKST|Updated: Feb. 20, 2023 at 6:32 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska is known for many things, and when it comes to the scenery, what better way to capture it than through a camera lens?

Vincent Ledvina does just that with his stunning images of the northern lights. The professional aurora chaser and photographer is based out of Fairbanks, where he attends the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is pursuing his doctorate in space physics.

Photography is his passion. He was hooked after he picked up his first camera at the age of 16, courtesy of his father, who also shared his love of photography.

“I’ve just always been fascinated with nature, the natural world and night sky, things like that,” Ledvina said. “Over time, I just fell in love with sharing the beauty of nature with other people.”

Ledvina doesn’t just like taking photos of the northern lights — he chases them. He described the sky on the night of March 5 of 2022, as a time that’s ingrained in his memory forever.

“That was actually the night we launched the sounding rocket, so I was up in Fort Yukon, and I mean, the sky was just going nuts,” Ledvina said. “It was exploding and there was just huge curtains of aurora everywhere, I mean I saw every single color you could think of, and the aurora was dancing around the entire sky.”

Photo captured by Vincent Ledvina.
Photo captured by Vincent Ledvina.(Vincent Ledvina)

Ledvina’s goal is not to just capture beautiful images in the night sky — he wants to inspire others as well.

“On my Instagram, I like to also educate people on what the aurora is, scientifically, how it’s created, and also when the best times and where the best places are to see the auroras,” Ledvina said.

He also said the “secret sauce” to capturing a good aurora photo is searching for that particularly bright night of lights.

Ledvina’s taken more images and video of the aurora than he can count, but one thing is for certain.

“It just leaves you completely transfixed, completely in awe, jaw on the floor,” Ledvina said. ”You’re so glued to it, you can’t look away.”