Hartlepool photographer wins acclaim for stunning panoramic picture of Headland showing Northern Lights
A Hartlepool amateur photographer’s stunning photo with the Northern Lights shimmering over the town has won widespread acclaim.
Using a drone, talented Ashley Foster captured the natural phenomenon in a panoramic picture of the Headland on Saturday night with the colourful lights visible in the distance.
As well as receiving numerous compliments on social media, his picture was featured on the local ITV news and an online BBC news story about the lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.
Hartlepool Power Station worker Ashley said: “About four years ago I remember standing near the yacht club on a pier. I just looked up and you could watch the lights.
"It’s never been that strong since then.”
He and other keen photographers were alerted to the lights at the weekend through a phone app letting them know where they could be seen and when.
Ashley, 32, headed out to the Headland at around 10.30pm and sent his drone up 120 feet in the air – the maximum allowed and started snapping from the ground.
He added: "I thought ‘I’m going to try and get this on my drone for something different’.
“I used a four second exposure and managed to get it.
"It is a lot of luck because you need the right conditions. Luckily, there wasn’t much cloud and I got it so I was quite pleased.”
Taken from near the Heugh pier, Ashley’s photo also shows the whole of the Headland brightly illuminated under a clear sky.
Ashley’s scenic photographs are regularly featured on the local TV weather forecasts.
He said: “It puts Hartlepool in a good picture.”
The volunteer for Alice House Hospice has also used his drone to capture similar great shots of Hartlepool, Newcastle and Gateshead from the air and at night.
The Northern Lights are caused by atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere colliding with particles from the sun.
The best time to see them in this country is between late September to March.
Saturday’s spectacle could be seen in Scotland and down the coast from Northumberland to Teesside inspiring many other photographers across the North East.