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Hunting for the Northern Lights

How to capture the Northern Lights on camera? 📸

General rules to see the Northern Lights and take a picture of it on a smartphone 🤳 read the previous post 👉🏻

📸 And now about the camera settings:

Any modern mirror or mirrorless will do, as long as there are manual settings:
✔️We need M mode. Full-frame models (Nikon D610, Nikon D750, Nikon D810, Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 6D Mark II, Canon 7D Mark II) will do the job best – then digital noise in the photo will be minimal.
✔️ Better fast wide-angle lens: e.g. Nikon 14-24 F / 2.8, Nikon 16-35 F / 4, Canon 16-35mm F / 2.8.
✔️ A tripod is better to use the one with a 3D ball head, it allows you to quickly and easily tilt the camera to the desired angle. ✔️ It is not worth lifting the column high: if the surface is unstable (stones, snowdrift, icy lake), and the wind is strong, this can be risky: a couple of times strong gusts toppled our tripod.

It is better to set the settings in advance, but you still have to adjust them in the process: the light from the moon, the road, houses, the power of the aurora – everything will affect the final image.
✔️ISO – high. Start at 1600 and work up gradually if you find the footage is a little dark.
✔️ Exposure – from 10 to 25 seconds. Look at the photo. With a long exposure, the stars begin to “ride” and turn from dots into dashes or arcs, as they move all the time in the sky. If this happens, slow down the shutter speed.
✔️ The aperture is as wide as possible (1.4, 2.8 or 4 – depending on which lens you have).
✔️Focusing must be manual – for example, by the brightest star via Live View. Well, if you have a flashlight with you, you can use it to highlight some objects in the foreground: a boat, a Christmas tree, a house.
✔️Frame format is definitely RAW, not JPEG. It saves as much information as possible. Then it will be easier to work with the frame in Photoshop and other graphic editors: make the greenish glow brighter, remove noise, “pull” the landscape out of the darkness.

How to keep your equipment out of the cold?

The technique is afraid of sudden changes in temperature. If you were sitting in a warm hotel and, seeing the glow from the window, rushed into the street, where there is frost and blizzard, expect trouble. The camera starts to fog up from the inside, it is impossible to shoot.
Therefore, before “hunting”, put it on the windowsill and slightly open the window so that it gradually cools down.
And after shooting, put it in a backpack or wrap it in a scarf and only after that bring it into the room and do not get it for another half hour or hour. So it will warm up gradually.

Original article
Photos from our tours “Hunt for the Northern Lights”, as well as Tatiana CHERNIKOVA.

Published on: November 14, 2021  -  Filed under: News

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