Swipe left for this panoramic view of vividly red sunset clouds, venus (at top) and a very thin new moon next to jupiter (right end), a beautiful conjunction. zoom in to see these objects. many of my images are aimed for large prints or big screens, difficult to reveal the details on smartphones! captured last year near boston, these are cirrus uncinus clouds appeared due to an approaching storm. @natgeocreative@natgeotravel@twanight#boston#newmoon#sunset#clouds#panorama
My new added image to the national geographic fine art galleries @natgeofineart. a panoramic starscape view of a storm cloud and lightning from the top of haleakala, hawaii. see it on natgeofineart.com, look for "pele in the distance" under collections. if you visit maui-hawaii (pictured here), southern california, ft. lauderdale-florida (and soon las vegas), visit one of these stunning galleries. i have several images there. special thanks to the kihei gallery which provided me this photo.
On august 21st the moon casts a shadow on earth, racing across the us (only), through 14 states. swipe left to see the visibility map. the partial eclipse is visible from all north and central america, and a glimpse of it from hawaii (at sunrise). but remember, the main show is totality! this 2-minute total eclipse is the first one over the us since 1979 and will bring several millions to the 70-mile wide shadow path.
this photo-sequence from my 2008 eclipse experience in southern siberia is from 2 minutes before totality to 2 minutes after, through a 400mm lens + crop.
search “eclipse babak” on natgeo.com to read my recent @natgeotravel piece “chasing eclipses across 7 continents”. if you look for safe eclipse glasses or eclipse viewing guide app check astronomers without borders website (astrowb.org). the sales enable the nonprofit organization to send free eclipse shades to low-income communities. find more info about aug21 on eclipse2017.nasa.gov
Was a starry summer night at the world heritage site of geghard monastery in armenia. the north star polaris was right over the monument from this vantage point when a bright meteor appeared next to it. this church is being partially made like a hidden temple in a cave, carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by magnificent towering cliffs. geghard means "the monastery of the spear". the main chapel was built in 1215, but the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century around a sacred spring inside the cave.
A free soul at sunrise... a tribute to stanford genius #maryammirzakhani, iranian-american world-known mathematician, one of the most brilliant minds of our time, who lost the battle with cancer this morning at her 40. she was the first woman to win the fields medal prize. @natgeocreative
The physics behind aurora forms is quite interesting. the earth magnetic field forces the trapped solar particles to rain down on the atmosphere, long the magnetic lines, and cause it to glow over the polar areas. here a spectacular aurora display in march appears above waterfalls streaming out of a lava field into hvita river in iceland. when the lights are intense as these you see more than green with your eyes, though colors are pale compared to what camera captures. i'm returning to iceland to chase aurora in my next workshops/phototours in sep2017, mar2018, sep2018. babaktafreshi.com/workshop
learn when and where to see the lights on my recent article “7 magical places to view auroras” on @natgeo website or google “aurora natgeo”. @natgeotravel@natgeocreative@twanight#iceland#aurora#auroraborealis#northernlights#longexposure#nightphotography#astrophotography#nightscape
Swipe left to see this panorama of a gate to the sacred mt tai (tai shan) in shandong, china. this is a tribute to a good friend and an inspiring soul w**g xiaohua who just passed away. also a nightscape photographer he was the force behind recognizing and protecting natural night skies in china. google “china dark sky” to read more of his activities on media. in collaboration with international dark sky association @idadarksky, his legacy will continue by his younger & dedicated colleagues @jeffdaiphoto@stephanieyeziyi and many others who care about light pollution in that part of the world.
in 2012 i was invited by xiaohua to visit potential dark sky sites at his home province of shandong and to meet with local government in this regard. on that morning we were hiking up mt tai, overlooking the brightly illuminated city of tai'an. the sky was dark on one side and totally vanished by the city on the other side. the rising venus was shining in the middle. tai shan is traditionally one of the nation's five great mountains, where the emperors used to visit to pray for the country's safety. it has been a place of worship for at least 3000 years. today thousands of people visit the mountain everyday, specially in early morning to see the sunrise.
I occasionally release some of my most colorful images in #blackandwhite. sometimes the less can be more. in the era of emerging social media and digital imaging our eyes are overwhelmed, almost saturated by eye candy imagery everywhere. that’s not all photography has to offer. in b&w we are often more focused on the subject and composition. here aurora borealis swirls over a fjord in northern norway (march 2013). the pleiades star cluster is on the upper left. @natgeocreative@natgeotravel@twanight#natgeo#aurora#auroraborealis#northernlights#tromso#norway
One of my favorite images of alma observatory, 5060 meters (16600ft) high on andes. in 2015 it was a winner in the best of photojournalism by national press photographers association (@nppa). this time exposure image shows startrails (earth rotation) around the south celestial pole, note the missing polaris at center! taken from one of the world's highest and most complex observatories, the dishes move all together to a new target every few minutes and it's challenging to due a long exposure. every other year, on imaging assignment for the european southern observatory (eso), i visit alma array of 66 radio telescopes on andes, chile. our team spend several "freezing" nights, dusk to dawn, next to the dishes and we have to use oxygen capsule due to safety regulations and also because of our quick half-an-hour ascent from the control base at ~ 3000 meters.
Seeing aurora is on the bucket list of every traveler. i’m fortunate to enjoy many nights in the past 2 decades imaging these dancing lights dress in pastels of colors, from antarctica to arctic. after my recent photo workshop in iceland i spent more nights imaging the lights due to high aurora activity in late march. there is nothing like relaxed watching of these lights in a dark sky. aurora is a master fine art painter when it is in storm level, creating the crown (aurora corona) at zenith, with ever changing forms and colors. the second part of the video shows the spectacular crown formed that night. the music is by sound artist @alirainimusic
if you wonder where & when to see the lights, read my article “7 magical places to view auroras” on natgeotravel.com or google “aurora natgeo”. @natgeo@natgeocreative#auroraborealis#aurora#northernlights#nightsky#astrophotography#nightscape#timelapse