Amaz­ing North­ern Lights cap­tured over Macc

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHIANNON MCDOWALL rhiannon@men­ @rhi­an­nonMEN

THIS stun­ning pic­ture is be­lieved to have cap­tured the North­ern Lights in Macclesfield for the first time.

Pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher Simon Brown, from Macclesfield, spot­ted ru­mours of au­rora bo­re­alis sight­ings on so­cial me­dia.

Keen to put his skills into prac­tise, he hot­footed it to the top of the hill at South Park and within half an hour had cap­tured what is be­lieved to be the only pro­fes­sional pho­to­graph of the North­ern Lights over Macclesfield.

Simon, 40, who gave up his job as a re­search sci­en­tist at As­traZeneca four years ago to run Trav­el­ling Simon Pho­tog­ra­phy, said: “It was all pretty un­ex­pected.

“Usu­ally you get a cou­ple of days warn­ing when there’s a so­lar flare point­ing in our di­rec­tion, so you are able to pre­pare for it. but even then it holds no guar­an­tees.

“The first I knew of this was when peo­ple started tweet­ing about it on Twit­ter.

“I’ve seen it twice be­fore but I’ve never got a pic­ture, and I’ve never seen any pic­tures of them above Macclesfield.”

Simon’s mes­meris­ing shot was cap­tured from the top of the hill in South Park.

Simon added: “I’ve been do­ing a lot of star pho­tog­ra­phy and teach­ing my­self about it for the last few years so I had the right set­tings.

“I knew I could get an un­ob­structed view of the north from South Park, which is what you need if you are go­ing to get a de­cent pic­ture.

“I did won­der whether it would be ob­structed by light pol­lu­tion from above town but I think the cloud cover helped block some of it to give a re­ally good view.”

The mys­ti­cal sight was per­fect tim­ing for Simon, who is cur­rently work­ing on an alien themed ex­hi­bi­tion for the Barn­aby Fes­ti­val, which this year cel­e­brate’s the theme ‘Space’.

He ex­plained: “In­va­sion Macclesfield is a sci-fi ex­hi­bi­tion about an alien in­va­sion of Macclesfield. There are go­ing to be lots of star shots and pic­tures across us­ing mod­els and peo­ple dressed as aliens.

“I’ve got a re­ally nice shot of the Per­seids me­teor shower stream­ing through the sky in front of the Milky Way. I’m sure one of the North­ern Lights will make it in too.”

Simon’s work is cur­rently on show at Soma Cafe Bar, on Sun­der­land Street.

The Barn­aby Fes­ti­val, which cel­e­brates the town’s art and cul­ture, runs from Fri­day, June 17, un­til Sun­day, June 26. ●● HAVE you got any pic­tures of the North­ern Lights in Macclesfield? Send them to us at macclesfield.ex­press@ men­

‘It was all pretty un­ex­pected’

Pho­tog­ra­pher Simon Brown (right) cap­tured this stun­ning pho­to­graph of the North­ern Lights above Macclesfield – be­lieved to be the first such im­age by a pro­fes­sional

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