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Northern Lights Photos: How Accurate are They Compared to the Real Thing?

Hundreds gather at Rocky River Beach to witness the northern lights, amazed by the difference between what they saw and captured.

On a Friday night at Rocky River Beach in Ohio, George Avata and hundreds of others were treated to a rare sight of the northern lights over Lake Erie. Avata, inspired by colorful photos on Facebook, marveled at the aurora borealis's beauty. He noted that while cell phone cameras captured the lights vividly, the naked eye saw them in a more subdued manner.

At Huntington Beach in Bay Village, similar sentiments were echoed by onlookers who were amazed by the stark difference between what they saw with their eyes and what their phones captured. Andy Fowkes, a photographer, explained that cameras are able to collect more light than human eyes, thanks to longer exposure times and larger sensors.

Astronomer Jay Reynolds highlighted the technical aspects of cell phone cameras, emphasizing their superior night detection capabilities and larger sensor size compared to the human eye. Avata praised photos taken by Fox 8 Web Producer Jordan Unger, noting their accuracy in capturing the aurora borealis as he saw it.

Fowkes shared his own stunning photo of the lights, taken with a 15-second exposure setting. Despite the technological marvel of capturing the lights on camera, Avata emphasized the magical feeling of witnessing the northern lights in person. He expressed gratitude for the experience, acknowledging that it left him with a sense of wonder and a lasting impression. Overall, the event was described as impressive and unforgettable, even without the need to travel to far-off destinations like Finland to see the lights in all their brilliance.

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