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How to Photograph the Northern Lights

Posted By Mark Price on 15/11/2013

PictureIf you are lucky enough to witness the spectacle of the Northern Lights you certainly won’t want the memory to fade. A photo is the perfect way to capture and share your experience with friends and family at home. Here’s our step-by-step guide to capturing the Northern Lights in all their glory.


  • The right equipment certainly helps but there is no need to spend a small fortune on lots of professional gear. A tripod is essential to keep the camera focused in even the wildest weather conditions. A camera with a wide-angled zoom lens, with good exposure capacity, completes your essential kit.

  • Pre-focus the camera lens and tape it in place. You could even attach the camera already to the tripod and carry it like this. The more you can do in preparation, the less you will have to do fumbling around in the dark.

  • For the actual shot, remove the filter and expose the lens for 20-40 seconds, experimenting with the shutter timings until you are satisfied. After all, the Northern Lights are a continuous display of colour; this method will maximize your chances of getting that one great shot.

Most importantly, as the best time to see the Northern Lights is the Scandinavian winter between September and April, make sure you wrap up very warm. Happy snapping!

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Northern lights
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