Alaska photographers bring aurora down to Earth

by Mikhail Ronnander

Sun Star

Ronn and Marketa Murray have been taking photos for a combined 14 years. They fell in love over their passion for the aurora and began taking photos together. The two have concentrated on fine art, stock and nature photography, as well as aurora time lapse and real time videos, displaying some of their work at Arctic Java’s First Friday event last week.

Eric Swenson from Alaska Camera talks with guests about the art of photographing the aurora at the NIght Sky gallery on Friday night. – Travis Olsen / Sun Star

The show featured about 75 pictures taken by 20 local artists. The pictures were predominantly of the aurora borealis, with a few pictures of landscapes and buildings as well.

“The green northern lights in that picture reminds me of a nighttime rainbow,” Elizabeth Hanson, a vistor to the event, says of her favorite picture at the art show titled “August Night” taken by Marketa Murray.

Visitors were invited to converse with the artists involved; food and refreshments were also available. The UAF Student Activities Office set up the show and invited anyone interested in photography, auroras, or anyone looking for some culture.

About 80 people attended the event and many chose to talk to the artists. Some came to the event to try to learn more about photography techniques while some just came for coffee and conversation.

“I’ve had a camera in my hands as far back as I can remember,” Tracey Porreca said on her artists biography card at the show. Her picture style is described as photo-journalistic. Porreca has been taking pictures since she was six and has recently begun experimenting with mixed media art. Porreca says, “Alaska, with its raw and natural beauty has given me the opportunity to hone my photographic skills by capturing images unique to this state, including the aurora borealis.”

Some of the artists featured at the show were husband wife team Ronn & Marketa Murray, Roger Marty, Tracey Porreca, Sebastian Saarloos, Troy Birdsall, Terry Tedor, Dave Shaw, Heather Taggard, Lisa Supino and UAF’s chief photographer for the Marketing and Communications office Todd Paris.

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