Norway – Photographing northern lights

Northern lights, Kirkenes, Norway
Northern lights, Kirkenes, Norway

Today, I want to show you another pictures of northern lights. This photo, was taken on other day than the picture from my post on the 16th of February and at much darker place. Here, you can see stars much better. Can you recognize Orion?
(p.s. if you want to see bigger picture, just use the right mouse button, choose: “view image” or “open image in a new tap” etc. – depending on a browser!)

What is the best recipe for catching northern lights and stars?

First, you have to be lucky, that nature shows its beauty. 😉

Then, definitely you should have a tripod, since you need to expose for about 10 to 30 seconds, which is impossible to hold steadily with your hands. Hot tea and a warm place nearby helps to keep you warm. If you want to catch most of the sky at once, take an ultra wide angle lens – for this pictures we used one with 15 mm focal length (@ 35 mm equivalent). For the right ISO and f-stop combination you should try with your camera in advance (and in a much warmer place), because the cold of Norway is not best time to play around. Best is to have the right settings prepared. This camera is a Micro Four Thirds and the shots were done with 3.2-3.5/f with ISO 640 to 1000. One last advice: better not touch the cold metal parts of your camera with your bare fingers at minus -30º Celsius 😉


Dzisiaj, chciałam Wam pokazać kolejne zdjęcie zorzy polarnej. Zostało ono wykonane innego dnia niż to z 16 lutego, oraz w miejscu „oddalonym od cywilizacji”. 😉 Dzisiaj, też gwiazdy dodają uroku. Kto znalazł oriona?
(p.s. Jeżeli chcecie powiększyć zdjęcie to wystarczy użyć prawego przycisku myszy i wybrać: “view image” lub “open image in a new tap”, czy polskie odpowiedniki: “zobacz obraz”, “otwórz zdjecie/obraz w nowej karcie” albo coś bardzo podobnego w zależności od przeglądarki.)

Fotografowanie zorzy polarnej nie jest bardzo trudne, jednak warto się przygotować.
W pierwszej kolejności musimy mieć szczęście, że przyroda zechce nam pokazać swoje piękno. 😉

Z łatwiejszych rzeczy do wykonania, obowiązkowy jest statyw, ponieważ czas ekspozycji to przynajmniej 10-30 sekund. Obiektyw szerokokątowy jest bardzo wskazany, gdyż pozwoli złapać większy kawałek nieba. W przypadku ISO i ogniskowej warto pokombinować, aby otrzymać różne efekty. I też bardzo ważne jest aby znać swój aparat, jaka czułość jest akceptowalna itp. Warto więc spędzić noc na fotografowaniu nieba zmieniając ustawienia aparatu. Do tego celu cieplejsze miejsce jest zdecydowanie lepsze, niż takie o temperaturze -30ºC. 😉

Nasze zdjęcia zorzy zostały wykonane z 3.2-3.5/f oraz ISO od 640 do 1000.

54 thoughts on “Norway – Photographing northern lights”

  1. How amazing! I almost expect an alien spaceship to be on the other side of this hill. Nice photo composition too. I admire your dedication despite the cold.

  2. what a thrilling sight….a priest friend spent his early ministry in a remote village in northern canada….lonely and down one night he prayed for strength and as he looked up the northern lights had filled the sky in the form of a cross.

  3. Stunning and thank you for a lesson on how to take the photographs – very interesting and be careful of your fingers in that cold. Brrrr…My husband and I want to travel and see them ourselves one day so we are both enjoying your series.

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately, we’re not always lucky with northern lights; when I saw them first time, I wanted to see more and stronger 😉

  4. Mille mercis de ce magnifique cliché et il est vrai de voir la photo agrandie, c’est de toute beauté. Votre voyage et un conte de fée.
    Mes amitiés 🙂

  5. A beautiful photo and excellent advice on getting the best one possible. Lovely clear view of the stars, too. ?

  6. Beautiful photo! I was in Finland in 2007 and trekked out late at night with the hope to see the Northern lights. This was February so the middle of winter. Turned out to be like the 5% of nights where they didn’t show! Was totally devastated lol but hopefully I’ll have the chance to see them sometime soon 🙂

    1. It’s sad, but nature is nature at the end…
      I’m sure you still had a great time there! 🙂

  7. Thank you for the advice!

    I don’t think I would wanna fidget around with the settings during a very very cold weather! haha, it is indeed better to set it up in advance 🙂 I always wanted to see the northern lights! I thought of visiting Alaska last month but felt that I don’t really have enough time (since it would only be about 2 days visit due to other commitments). Especially since I would have to be lucky when the northern lights show up! One day, definitely one day! 🙂

    1. That’s true, better no to put too much hope on seeing northern lights and combine them with other trip, to not be too disappointed just in case… 🙂

  8. Great shot! I’ve always wanted to see the northern lights. But, I haven’t been lucky enough to catch them even though they are fairly common just a couple of hours north from where we live. I need to make it more of a priority to get out and see them sometime!

  9. I had the worst luck when I was in Iceland to see the lights. The weather was great during the day but cloudy at night. I did get to photograph them during the summer in South Dakota which was both amazing and annoying.

    1. yeah, it’s nature, so can’t predict it for 100%, fortunately you saw it! 🙂

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