Workshop Aurora Borealis

In this workshop you will learn the ins and outs of photographing the Northern Lights. As not every visitor of the Aurorea is a photographer this workshop will be low-level in photography explanation to enable everyone to get a decent photo of this phenomenon.

Equipment: Though listed here, do not buy it only weeks before you leave for the lights. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands under the lights, you will need to familiarize yourself with it in advance as the lights can hold for hours or... for less than a minute.

For novices:
Camera:

  • must be on a tripod for long exposure times
  • must be set to manual exposure and manual focussing. Auto is no option.
  • set your ISO for 3200 or 1600
  • If you shoot jpg files only (standard for most non-hobbyist camera's): set you whitebalance for flash or if you can at 5600 K. Do not use auto white balance.
  • set the aperture on 4.0 max, preferred on 2,8 or lower if you have
  • set the shutter for 10 seconds to start with.
  • take enough batteries with you. Cold will make them halt before they are drained and long exposure times do drain them quickly. The camera doesn't have to be expensive but really does need these manual possibilities.

When there seemes to be nothing in the sky: Set the camera for starters on your tripod with iso 3200, aperture wide open (lowest number) and shutter 15 seconds (15", not 15). Set the focusring for infinity (the flat laying 8). When there is a reasonable light in the sky set your ISO for 1600 and shutter for 10" (seconds) When there is good light 1600 and 2,5"-5" seconds. When bright moving multicoloured 800 iso at 1 second. Remark! These settings are guidelines depending on your own perception of brightness of the lights.

A good camera that is not expensive is by example the Sony DSC-HX400V. It has a good lens with a good max aperture of 2,8 at wide angle.