Tips to photograph the Northern lights | Traveler by Unique

Well, you cannot rely on the pictures taken by your phones (no matter the quality of your phones) because they are limited in capacities and functions. Hence, you need good cameras to achieve good shots of the auroras spectacles.


Using your phone

Using your phone

Using your phone to take photos at Northern lights spots may not be a totally bad idea. But remember that some of the phones camera lack adequate capacities to deliver good shots as many of them may not be enhanced with great ISO functions. You need to have good knowledge of the camera settings of your phone be it an iPhone or an Android. Aiding your phone with a tripod and correct camera settings may give you better quality photos.


What types of cameras do you need?

What types of cameras do you need

The use of camera works better to take shots of Northern Lights photos. Cameras are sturdier and more stable. Many good quality cameras can shoot at long exposures when at very high ISO. These will deliver good photos at the end of your night light expeditions.

There are several such cameras such as DSLR cameras that will give you good results. Canon 8000 with the good wide-range lens has been acclaimed by many northern lights hunters for quality photos delivery. Nikon D810 and Sony a7R II are also great cameras to northern lights photography



Equally, you need a wide-angle lens. This will help you in capturing vast landscapes, foreground, and background landscapes while the dancing lights rove overhead. A 10-22mm wide-angle lens is a good take for this.


Camera settings for Northern Lights

Camera settings for Northern Lights

Holding a good camera coupled with a good wide-angle lens is not the only requirement for photographing the Northern Lights. Your ability to understand your camera and its functions are added requirement. Giving your camera the professional settings, it needed gives you the qualities of the needed photos you required. You may give your camera some general settings at first, and then adjust accordingly as your shootings progressed.

  • Set your lens focus to infinity.
  • Use the evaluative or matrix metering mode.
  • Set your camera aperture at 2.8 or 4. Use the lowest aperture available on your camera lens
  • Use I5 seconds as a standard for slower dancing lights and 10 seconds for the fast auroras
  • At first, set the ISO at 800 and you can adjust gradually up to 1,600 depending on the strength of the Auroras.


What do you need to get quality photos of the Northern Lights?

What do you need to get quality photos of the Northern Light
  • A sturdy tripod: You need a sturdy tripod at least against the windy night. This will provide a good stable hold for your camera.
  • Protect your hands: You can bet that waiting outside in the open may surely be snowy, cold and windy. So, you need to protect yourself against these elements, your hand is no exception.
  • A remote-control shutter release: Since your hands will be secured inside the gloves, they cannot effectively work the shutter of your camera. An auto-shutter release becomes a necessary asset.
  • Camera with manual settings: this will help you to adjust both the camera and the lens to accurately measure the night sky distance.


The above tips will help you to get the best memorable photos to send to your loved ones and share on your Facebook page.