Tips for Photographing the Northern Lights

How to Make Great Photos

Author: The Traveling Professor/Wednesday, March 1, 2017/Categories: Norway/Iceland/Denmark

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I think one thing that people are surprised about regarding seeing the Northern Lights is that they don't look like those spectacular photos or videos that you often see. Most of the time, to the naked eye, the Northern Lights look vaguely like clouds.  However, when photographed with a time-lapse settingwith the right equipment and settings, those photos turn out to be spectacular.  Here are some tips for photographing the Northern Lights.

Taking Photos with a Cell Phone

If taking photos of the Northern Lights with a cell phone camera, they probably won't come out good at all.  That is, if not using the right app.  I downloaded Northern Lights Photo Taker from Lazily Inspired and got good photos, provided the camera was very steadily propped against a solid object to prevent movement and shaking. 

Taking Photos with Standard Camera Equipment

  • Put your camera in Manual mode
  • Set exposure time to about 20 seconds
  • Set aperture to 3.5 or lower
  • ISO to 800.

These are the normal settings to start with.  If the camera does not focus, try infinity focus or press shutter button halfway to the brightest spot, lock in the focus, and shoot.

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