A PHOTOGRAPHER has been busy capturing breathtaking views across the north while others slept.

Owen Humphreys has been photographing some of the north of England's most famous landmarks against the night sky since he discovered that he could see and capture the Northern Lights a mere five minutes from his front door in Whitley Bay. The news agency photographer, who takes working around the clock all too literally said the conditions have to be just right for a successful nocturnal outing.

"For the Northern Lights you need no moon or as little as possible, especially in the UK," said Humphreys.

"Then, very important, a clear sky. And then, even with those, you will need some kind of solar storm, such as a coronal mass injection from the sun, or in simple terms, an explosion from the sun's surface which reacts with the earth's magnetic field.

"The Milky Way is probably the easiest.

"But you still have to do your homework on times and position in the sky, which can easily be done using apps.

"And again, of course, a photographer's favourite thing at night – a clear sky. With the Milky Way, I prefer little or no moon to bring out the stars in the picture."