In a couple of weeks, I will be traveling to Norway to capture the fantastic northern lights, and while getting ready for this adventure, I wanted to share some tips for all of you to get the best Northern light shots.
The question I hear most of them is when is the best moment of the year to shoot Aurora borealis? The answer is simple: now 😊
From November to February, because you have darker nights and longer evenings, the best hours to witness northern lights are between 9:00 PM and 3:00 AM, and based on my experience, the magic usually happens between 10:30
Next, talk about location: the higher the altitude, the better the show! Consider places like Iceland, Canada, Alaska, Norway, and Sweden.
And unpopular opinion: did you know that in Maine, you can also have amazing Northern Lights? If you live in the US and want to stay local, that’s where you want to go.
Make sure you have a lens like a 10-14 or 14-20: in my case I use 14-24 from Sigma F 2.8 never had a better lens for this type of picture.
As for camera settings, remember that long exposure and high ISO settings are the secrets you are missing out on. Be careful on the ISOs, though. Even if your camera can get up to 102,400 ISOS with no problem doesn’t mean you want to use that value.
Too much noise will reduce the quality of your picture; stay between 800 and 2500 ISO, 1600 being the sweet spot. Prepare to capture the vibrant colors and the dance of the Aurora Borealis like you never did before.
Remember: it’s all about planning and preparing for those fantastic moments.
Capturing the Northern Lights is an adventure in itself. You’re going to deal with the cold with amazing lights.
You don’t know when the lights are going to show up, so get out there and chase those amazing dancing lights in the sky!