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World’s First Real Time Northern Lights Shot in 4K | The Next Best Thing To Being There

By Kishore Sawh on January 11th 2015


I’ve lived in Toronto for many years, so I’m no stranger to the cold. It’s not cold all the time, and summers in the city are special. To me, it’s one of the greatest cities on Earth, but 6-7 months of winter, in my opinion, is somewhat cruel. As I sit here on a warm and rainy day in Miami with my balcony door open in a t-shirt, it’s hard to think of going back to that the year ‘round. I’m a warm weather boy at heart, and the idea of voluntarily subjecting myself to bitter cold is somewhat abhorrent. There is, however, one sight in particular that would get me to don my Parka voluntarily again, and that’s the Aurora Borealis.

Maybe you’ve seen it, and for that I would say you’re incredibly fortunate. I’m drawn like a moth to some enormous flame to all images and videos of it, but they’re usually timelapses, or poor footage, and that leaves me wanting. What I’ve been wanting for is precisely what is featured here on this page; Husband and wife photography duo Ronn and Marketa Murray have shot and brought to us the world’s first real-time Northern Lights video captured in 4K, and it’s brilliant.

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Trudging through feet upon feet of snow, enduring temperatures that are far below freezing, and whipping winds, the couple filmed this from Fairbanks, Alaska, where they live. It was done with a Sony A7s, and a Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, and recorded using an Atomos Shogun external 4k recorder, and all stabilized using the DJI Ronin Gimbal Stabilizer.

They admittedly say there are some kinks in the armor to work out, particularly with stabilization, but it would appear it all worked well to most. What’s wonderful about this is that it actually gives you the sensation of what it’s actually like to be there. And frankly, compared to the other artistic timelapses and so forth, that’s exactly what I want to feel.

Really worth your time checking out more of the duo’s work on their site.

Source: Fstoppers

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    Beautiful. Stunning! Ethereal!
    I checked off a 30 year old bucket list item on July 8, 2011 and after that, I thought “What’s next?” I’ve been fascinated by the auroras and I’d love to see it in person, so that’s the next item on my bucket list. Like Kishore, I am a fan of warm weather, but I would suffer the cold to see the auroras in person. I’d probably take two cameras: film since it’s not as dependent on batteries and also digital.

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  2. Richard Barrios

    Fantastic video!

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  3. seoras logan

    Ok; So what exactly was this video about ? A trudge through the snow following someone photographing the Aurora Borealis, sometimes at dog level, or a missed opportunity to just marvel at the lights. One thing when you see the lights, as I have done on several occasions (sorry folks) is that you just gaze up (or across) and marvel, slowly panning around to see what they do. What was the story ? Please video makers study film making at least and give us some narrative, unless your James Benning who challenges that concept somewhat.
    The fact it was filmed in 4k is lost when you view on youtube, is it not.
    Apologies for a bit of a downer but some critique of what you are presented with wouldn’t go amiss.

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    • robert garfinkle

      I agree, YouTube needs to revamp or consider uncompressed content upload / streaming etc.

      As far as video production, can’t comment on that. It’s cool in a sense to see it, if what I’m hearing you right – what’s the point / meaning behind the video… yes?

      frankly, I’m not concerned about 4k myself; and not that it is a gimmick (like I think of 3D), oh, and please no one think of making a Northern Lights video 3D – what’s the point… they’d have to 3-Dimensionalize something at infinity (in a manner of speaking) and give it an effect we’d never experience in real life – just would have to say that…

      but as for 4k, not a big deal.

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  4. Arnold Ziffel

    A sight I’ve not seen since I moved from Alaska over 40 years ago. Sweet.

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  5. robert garfinkle

    Northern light chasing I categorize like I do Storm Chasing and a box o chocolates – Ya never know what you’re gonna get…

    I caught the June 5th 2012 Venus transit ( ), that’s as close as I come to natural phenomena, because it was predictable. Yet let it be known this is exactly the type of thing I would want to capture. Would I drop x-number of dollars for various lenses etc, heck yeah… I’d even spring for a 2nd cam to catch these puppies…

    The 4k is cool, yet honestly, unless something is wrong with the monitor I am watching on, YouTube just fails to render crisp flowing videos even at 1080p (reduction). I prefer Vimeo, it appears to work better – my experience.

    And for me, I am cool with doing a 1920 x 1080 video, 4k would be a bonus…

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  6. Hannes Nitzsche

    I’m so going o Canada next year! What a stunner! Thanks for sharing this video! Aurora’s have been on my bucket list for a long time… time to see them for real :)

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  7. Rafael Steffen

    This is a true beautiful scene! It mus be magical to see it live! Great work!

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  8. Peter Paul

    That’s very nice! I just wish I will have the chance to see those northern lights dancing in person.

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  9. robert garfinkle

    Yep, thouest stunned…

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  10. Hannu Siika-aho

    Nice. But just see it in reality. It’s so much more stunning!

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  11. Pye

    This was really cool, I definitely appreciate the time put into creating this. Just a thought though, if I had a chance to create the worlds first 4k Aurora Borealis video, I would want to take the chance to put more production value into it. Some slider and glidecam shots would have been amazing. But, I appreciated the video either way. Pretty awesome to see something like this just sitting in front of the computer.

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  12. Frances Pike

    Beautifully done! I have to admit, this moved me to tears. I have always wanted to see Aurora Borealis since I learned of it in grade school. I’m moving Alaska up on my bucket list. In the mean time, I want to learn how to photograph it so I can have a photo for my wall at home.

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  13. Peter Nord

    I’m too old, my dog is too old, and we live in a cloudy place. Watching this shared over the internet is just short of miraculous. Great stuff, keep it up.

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  14. Brandon Dewey

    Awesome Video!

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