Northern Lights or in another world, Aurora Borealis is one of the must-see places on Earth. The mesmerizing and picturesque experience shall be seen and left in memory forever. People from all over the world travel to Norway in order to witness the natural majesty and the most beautiful place, where the sky meets the galaxy and magic. While many people travel there to see and capture perhaps one of the best experiences in their lives, some have difficulty with taking proper photos.
The unearthly colors of the northern lights flicker across the Arctic sky and is a special place to be. You can watch it from the mountain or seaside, through the glass roof of the igloo, which is one of the most popular places to stay in or get a front-row seat at the observation deck on one of the Norwegian coastal express Hurtigruten’s ships, which sails under Aurora. Don’t forget to bring your camera and follow our instructions.
When the light show brightens up the sky, the moment is definitely worth freezing. Photographing the aurora isn’t that difficult when you have some basic knowledge of your camera. The hardest part is actually to find her, she can be quite the teasing. Though here are some best tips to use while capturing the natural phenomenon.
Aurora has been the focal point for many industries and many activities. The Northern Lights has inspired many producers and scientists. Many games are based on the Northern Light theme, because of the decent animations and visuals, they are quite popular among the players.
Let us start with the preparation process, which is no less important than the whole shooting process itself.
#1 Get away from the lights
This might sound a little messy, as you have come here to be close to the lights, and now we are asking you to keep away. Though, the point is that if you stand too close to them, the picture won’t be good. Thus, find a good spot away from the city center. Your chances of getting a perfect picture will increase considerably, and better it is to join the local guides, people who know the locations best.
#2 Forecast is something to consider
The Northern Lights are incredible to witness, yet it is sometimes hard to be on time. Many people have come back without seeing them. You want to have a clear sky and want Auroras to be dancing, which is the best moment you can choose. Imagine sitting by a bonfire with a warm cup of coffee, ready to witness the greatest light show on earth – and then it starts to rain. Not your idea of a perfect evening, right? Again, it might be wise to join a guided northern lights trip – the guides always have first-hand knowledge of the local weather conditions.
Now, let’s get to the actual shooting process. How should you point your camera and what should be your user manual? First of all, if you have the camera that’s obviously better, yet if you have your Android or iPhone, it’s still okay, unless you know how to capture a good photo.
The first thing to remember is to use the manual focus. This will help you to focus on the objects you want and will also assist you to create the photo you wished for. If you use your smartphone, download camera replacement apps. They give you more options to change camera settings, such as the shutter speed. Find a few that are compatible with your phone and test them before you go, to find out which one you feel comfortable using.
You will definitely need something for stability, and the most useful invention for this is the tripod. The reason is that you might have to stand still for a long time, and you will necessarily shake your camera. With a tripod, it is safe to say that your picture won’t be blurry. Bring a power bank. Batteries drain faster in cold weather. To save power, it is also smart to close all other apps.
#4 Things to keep in mind
Remember that you are in Norway and it is pretty cold there, so don’t forget to take your warm clothes. Frozen fingers might only be the band for you, but all in all, you won’t make it for a good shot. Wrap up in many layers of clothing. Does not really matter how you look at that moment, the most important part is the Aurora look on your photo.
But it is also very important to make Aurora part of the image, and not the only thing on the image. People often aim their camera towards the sky. Aurora is a beauty, so that is understandable. But you need more to create the right feeling in your image.
The picturesque landscape in Northern Norway is perfect! Place a mountain in the background. Add a beach or a bonfire in the foreground. Then last, but not least, leave room for Aurora in the top – and wait patiently for her show. Hence, the best lens to use when photographing the northern lights is a wide-angle lens.
The best time to visit Norway for the perfect shot in September to late March. This is the time when the nights continue for eternity and the light is almost always there. One of the best places to take a winning shot is on the Svalbard islands. So take everything into consideration and give it a try.