Wedding photographer Michael Carver was able to capture a “bucket list” northern lights during a spectacular showing of the aurora while photographing a couple’s big day in the Highlands.
Rebecca MacDonald and Chris Oram were handed a striking backdrop to their wedding pictures in Inverness when the snapper’s girlfriend text him about the shimmering sky as he packed away his equipment.
He quickly enlisted the help of a smoking guest to usher the lucky couple outside and capture the dazzling moment after using his phone to check where the lights would be visible.
Rebecca, from Inverness, said they were “extremely lucky” to catch the lights, describing it as “perfect” with guests gathered round for their own sneak preview.
She told STV News: “There had been rumours during the evening that there may be Northern nights but no sign before Michael was leaving.
“We’d said our goodbyes when I heard people shouting for me and saying the lights were out.
“Michael got Chris and I in the perfect position and the photos have come out amazing.
“It was just an unexpected but amazing way to celebrate our wedding. We both feel so lucky to have seen such a spectacle and have Michael capture it so beautifully.”
Michael explained that he only had a few seconds to grab the show while the lights pulsed brightly above the couple, adding the aurora was only visible “three or four times a year”.
He said: “Any photographer will tell you how difficult it is to capture the northern lights as it requires long exposure which means that the pictures could blur is the couple moved.
“I know how quickly this can come and go so I shouted at some poor guy who was smoking outside to quickly run in and grab the bride and groom whilst I set up my camera”.
The lights shone across Scottish skies on Monday night with hundreds of people across the country vying to catch a glimpse.
But those who missed them may not be out of luck for catching the show with their own eyes.
STV meteorologist Sean Batty said: “A red alert for aurora was issued yesterday evening with the northern lights visible right across Scotland where we had clearer skies. The best displays were around 9pm and then 2-4am on Tuesday morning.”
He continued by saying that while activity levels are expected to drop over the coming days they could still be visible tonight in the more northern parts of the country, though it is expected to be cloudier conditions.
He added: “But don’t worry, there’s still plenty time to see them. We’re heading for a solar maximum in the coming years, and while this is not great news for satellites or space walks, it does mean there will be an increase in sun spot activity, solar flares and therefore aurora.
“I would expect this coming winter and winter 2024/25 to be particularly good for displays.”