Ever Wanted to Photograph the Northern Lights? Here’s How!
The Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis) are one of our planet’s greatest natural wonders.
I’ve already written a guide to seeing the Northern Lights, but what if you want to photograph this amazing phenomenon? What’s the ideal equipment to use when doing so, and how should you go about doing it?
The people over at Technorati.com have created a guide for this very thing.
They recommend bringing a digital SLR (single- lens reflex) camera with a remote trigger, a wide-angle zoom lens, some pare batteries, a torch and some warm clothing (obviously!)
Here is how they recommend going about getting your photos:
- Because the cold temperatures can easily drain your camera’s battery, fix your settings before you go outside (however, you may need to change these once the lights appear), and remove anything that is on your media card as you will need lots of space to store your photographs.
- Use a wide-angle zoom lens and set the aperture to approximately f2.8 or its lowest number.
- For best results, set the exposure to between 20-40 seconds.
- Turn the manual focus to ‘infinity’.
- Remove filters on the camera.
- Turn noise reduction to on.
- Set up your camera on a tripod to minimise shaking, and preferably at chest height so you find it easier to operate (use a torch to help you see in the dark). Direct the lens towards North.
- Try to incorporate some foreground into the shot to make the photograph more interesting.
- Once you begin taking photographs, adjust your camera settings according to the brightness of the Aurora. (Reduce exposure time if the Northern Lights appear very bright but if your shots look too dark, increase exposure time).
- Try not to preview all of your shots as this will quickly reduce your battery life.
- To avoid getting condensation on the lens, try not to breathe on the camera.
Many people don’t even consider how the cold air will affect their camera’s battery, so remembering to bring a spare is essential.
Have you ever photographed the Northern Lights? Let us know how you got on!
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