Ronald Söthje


Ronald is a drone operator, video creator, trainer, and engineer based in Germany. The technology behind movie production was what first fascinated him. Ronald's passion shifted toward the harmonious blend of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology as time progressed, culminating in creating exceptional, high-quality outputs.

Workflow design and camera operation are the technical part of his work, while the creative part is to create the time-lapses and videos he envisions. Ronald loves to create content in northern countries and mountainous regions. He takes great pleasure in capturing the stunning landscapes, from the majestic fjords to the rugged peaks, combined with the enchanting play of light.

How would you define ‘Rise’?

As a visual artist with a strong focus on videography, photography has played a pivotal and ongoing role in my journey. It has been an influential teacher, revealing the essence of true growth, which lies in focusing on each image.

The realization dawned upon me that genuine rise is not contingent upon external opinions or the judgment of others; it is an intimate journey of self-discovery. With every shot I take, I've learned to embrace the significance of detail, composition, and narrative, ensuring that each image harmoniously contributes to the overarching story.

Photography taught me to be disciplined and mindful. It made me slow down, observe everything around me, and capture the perfect moments. Time-lapse photography strengthened these qualities, requiring preparation, foresight, and a strong focus on my goals.

The gratifying experience of capturing the awe-inspiring aurora in stills and on video seamlessly amalgamates my passions and elevates my journey, instilling patience as a virtue to be embraced. This newfound perspective has catalyzed the development of fresh visions and the application of innovative techniques, enriching both my photography and videography endeavors.

As illustrated by the three shots I present here, I've internalized this approach, cherishing each failure as a stepping stone in my ascent.

Photography tips for capturing the Aurora Borealis

Capturing the beauty of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a dream for many photographers. Experiencing this spectacle for the first time and sharing this on social media was one of my "Rise" moments too.

Here are a few essential tips so you can also, one day, capture the beauty of the aurora borealis at its best:

    1. Research and plan: Familiarize yourself with the locations - with a clear view to the northeast, for starters - and ideal times for viewing the lights. Track weather conditions - geomagnetic activity is good to know but isn't the main key.
    2. Basic equipment: Invest in a sturdy tripod to ensure stability during long exposure shots. Use a wide-angle lens with a small aperture (f/2.8 or smaller) to capture more light and a larger portion of the sky.
    3. Master Manual Mode:
        Switch to manual mode to have full control over your camera settings.
        Start with an ISO setting between 800 and 1600 to capture enough light without creating excessive noise.
        Experiment with slower shutter speeds, usually between 5-15 seconds, to capture the fascinating movement of the lights.
    4. Focus precisely: Set your lens to manual focus and use Live View and zoom in on a bright star to focus. Take a sample and check its sharpness.
    5. White Balance: Set it to around 4200k to achieve accurate colours in your aurora shots. Adjust this value to suit your personal preferences and the overall colour temperature of the scene.
    6. Patience and perseverance: The northern lights can be unpredictable. So be patient and be prepared to spend some time outdoors waiting for optimal conditions. Stay warm and comfortable, and watch the sky for signs of the light's emergence.Capturing the Aurora Borealis goes beyond just getting great pictures; it's also about relishing the entire experience. And that is the most enjoyable part of it all.

More Pro Tips

Show the world how you RISE.

Submit your work by the 24th of September, 2023

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