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The increasing popularity of aurora photography in recent years has produced some stunning imagery from unlikely latitudes. However all is not as it seems. There are implications for the wider integrity of photography.

We've all seen those images over the past few years (popping up in our Facebook feeds or in the media) depicting spectacular displays of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights from Great Britain, Ireland or the lower 48 in the US. Regardless of the location, they're pretty amazing images. But beneath the wow-factor and thousands of 'likes' and 'shares' lurks a nasty little integrity issue. These aurora images may be photographic eye-candy, but many of them are pure high fructose corn syrup.

Northern Lights as seen from north coast of Ireland in 2004. Fuji Provia 400F with exposure of approx 40 seconds.

The extraordinary progress in digital photography has galvanised a revolution in night-...

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Gareth McCormack is an Irish photographer specialising in landscape, travel and adventure imagery. His images have been used by many of the world's most prominent magazines and newspapers, including Time, National Geographic and the New York Times. He has also supplied images to many, including Tourism Ireland, Air New Zealand, Microsoft and Warner Bros.

Gareth's style is characterised by bold and dynamic compositions, galvanised by the use of striking natural light.

More recently Gareth has applied his visual skills to motion imagery and time lapse photography, working on the film documentaries Secrets of the Irish Landscape (RTE) and 4000 Year Old Cold Case: The Body in the Bog (BBC4/PBS).

Gareth also runs photographic workshops on Ireland's northwest coast. Further information about the workshops and more than 3000 images can be found on his website: www.garethmccormack.com
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