AURORA SKIES & JAMES STUDARUS
James Studarus lives in Santa Barbara, Ca and is an adventurer, photographer and writer. Recently, he's been exploring the far north of our globe, taking pics of the surreal northern lights. He started www.stardustimages.org to share beautiful natural images for enjoyment, education and benefit charities.
James your greatest inspirations or influences?
Travel and seeing this magnificent planet is inspirational to me. Being surrounded by powerful, beautiful nature is a great motivation and thrill in life.. Lately, seeing the aurora borealis in Iceland, Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories has been hugely influential. The first night I saw the aurora in Iceland, I experienced natural cosmic beauty that was on another level of what I had experienced before. I was blown away and much of my travels, photography and writing have been focused on the northern lights.
Most interesting place you have shot so far? or any particular memory from a shoot ?
Tombstone Territorial Park in the fall has been my favorite place to shoot so far. I was able to incorporate my love for backpacking, the northern lights, travel and photography in a surreal week of the impressive Yukon skies. Not only was the mountain landscape dramatic but the aurora borealis rips through this region. I timed my backpack with the peak on an aurora storm as I saw the northern lights all seven nights with three of the nights being epic displays. One particular night the aurora was dancing past the grand Tombstone Peaks with a perfect reflection occurring in Divide Lake that culminated in a grand flash that I was able to capture with my lens.
Favorite websites, blogs, or social media handles you follow.
- I use instagram frequently and like checking out Mia Stalnacke (@angrytheinch) who is a Swedish northern lights photographer. She has so much experience with the aurora it is very impressive.
- Also, I met Michael Shainblum, Toby Harriman and Andrew Studer last winter in Iceland. They are all amazing digital artists and like to see what projects they are working on. They each have their own style from cosmic nature to aerial amazement and I am excited to see what directions they will go with their talents.
What would be a dream project for you?
A dream project for me would be to catalog all the amazing places in the world you can backpack while seeing the northern lights. I would love to camp at Gates of the Arctic in Alaska or Baffin Island in Canada or Hornstrandir in Iceland or Lofoten in Norway and photograph these incredible areas while backpacking under aurora skies.
Most interesting response you've heard about your work?
My first photography show was a benefit for the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and the attendance, ovation and compliments I received were amazing. I received so much support and positive feedback which was fantastic. I was able to take this
Anything else you would like to share?
My most recent article about the northern lights was the front cover story in the Santa Barbara Independent. You can check out the article and my incredible year of aurora viewing here: http://www.stardustimages.org/photojournalism/