Northern Lights – Norway
In December 2011 I was fortunate enough to spend five weeks travelling through Europe with two close friends, the main reason for the holiday was to hopefully see the northern lights. I was especially hoping to capture photos as brilliant as these by Nori Sakamoto. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, with the weather being mostly overcast on the two nights we went hunting. We did see the auroras for a few minutes on the second night we went out, but they were mostly obscured by clouds.
I’ve been bit with the bug pretty hard, I’m now keen to go back in January 2013 for a week or two, as it is supposed to be a good year for solar activity.
I wasn’t entirely disappointed with the trip, as I did get some great photos, including this star trail photo taken outside of Tromsø. The image in this post was a long exposure taken on the first night hunting for the northern lights, and is a five minute exposure shot at f6.3, ISO100, using a Canon 24-70mm f2.8L series lens. I used these settings because I was aiming for a low noise photo, however, as all the online research indicated, aurora are best shot using an aperture of at least f5.6, with an ISO of at least 1600, and a shutter speed of between 10-30 seconds, depending on what end result you want.
The beauty of this phenomena is something that one has to experience at least once in their life, and I highly recommend people to get out and do it if they can.