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How one Green Bay man has mastered the 'craft' of capturing the northern lights

Posted at 11:43 AM, Apr 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-30 12:43:33-04

SUAMICO — Jason Brotski has been taking photos for 25 years. It's a lifelong passion of his that began in a high school art class.

"Once the camera hit my hand, I haven't put it down since," Brotski said.

He captures anything and everything, but there's one thing in particular he has a keen eye for: the northern lights.

"I've seen the sky dance, and I looked it up," Brotski said. "I've been intrigued ever since."

Brotski said he began taking pictures of and learning all about the northern lights after being in awe the first time he saw them.

Now, he goes out frequently to see if he can catch them on camera, and he's sharing his passion through his Freeze Frame Photography Facebook page.

After taking pictures for decades, he's learned quite a bit and has quite a few spots that he said are best kept hidden, but not hidden to the vivid green and purple light displays.

Brotski said one "special" spot of his is in Suamico at Sunset Beach Park. He uses this spot to "test the skies" and see if the conditions are right to take pictures of the northern lights.

NBC 26 Chief Meteorologist Cameron Moreland said there are certain conditions best for seeing and capturing the northern lights.

"To simplify it greatly, a solar storm, a huge burst of electromagnetic energy coming from the sun and hitting the Earth where it then interacts with the magnetic field around the Earth," Moreland said. "Beyond that, you need clear skies, a dark sky, and you want to look north."

Moreland said the northern lights are most likely to be seen in the fall and spring.

Out of all of the pictures Brotski takes, he said the lights in Wisconsin continue to draw his focus.

"I've been from one end of the country to the other, and I keep coming back here," Brotski said. "You're just in awe. The sky is...indescribable. To say it dances, it's not enough. To say it looks like it's green fire, it's not enough. You just gotta see it for yourself."