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photographing the northern lights

A Beginner’s Guide to Photographing the Northern Lights

Seeing the northern lights is an unforgettable experience and likely one you will want to share with your friends, family, and followers on social media. And although smartphone technology has made huge advancements in its camera quality, it is still hard to capture the feeling of the northern lights on your phone.

Even with a good quality camera, photographing the northern lights can be extremely difficult. With the element of surprise always being on their side, you never know when or where in the sky they will appear. Some nights they are a consistent stream, and other nights they have exploded across the sky for a couple of minutes only to disappear as fast as they arrived.

If you are in the right place at the right time, you will still need to have the correct settings on your camera, as well as the right gear, to get the best photographic evidence of the northern lights. You will need a tripod, and you will want to avoid moving a lot (so a northern lights boat tour isn’t recommended).

Set your ISO to 800, your shutter speed between 5-20 seconds, and aperture as low as it goes. These are just guidelines to get you started, as you will have to play around with these settings depending on several factors, such as how bright the lights are.

Check out our video on photographing the northern lights and get all you need to know about how to technically set up your camera for the best results. If you follow these steps and are ready to adapt to what nature offers, an ever-changing light source, you will be prepared to capture your very own northern lights photo! Be sure to book a northern lights tour on your quest to hunt down the elusive aurora. Good luck!

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