Capturing the Beauty of the Aurora Borealis: Photography Tips and Tricks

Capturing the Beauty of the Aurora Borealis: Photography Tips and Tricks

Capturing the Beauty of the Aurora Borealis: Photography Tips and Tricks

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a breathtaking natural phenomenon that occurs in the polar regions. Many photographers dream of capturing the beauty of the Aurora Borealis in their photos, but it can be a challenging task. In this article, we will provide you with some tips and tricks to help you capture stunning images of the Aurora Borealis.

Understanding the Aurora Borealis

Before we delve into photography tips, it is important to understand what causes the Aurora Borealis. The Aurora Borealis is a result of collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. These collisions create stunning light displays that dance across the sky, typically in green, pink, purple, and blue hues.

Choosing the Right Location

When photographing the Aurora Borealis, location is key. You will need to find a dark location away from city lights to avoid light pollution. Popular destinations for viewing the Aurora Borealis include Alaska, Canada, Iceland, and Norway. Make sure to research the best spots in the area you plan to visit and check the weather forecast for clear skies.

Camera Gear

When capturing the Aurora Borealis, using the right camera gear is crucial. You will need a camera with manual settings, a wide-angle lens to capture the expansive sky, and a sturdy tripod to keep your camera steady during long exposures. A remote shutter release can also be useful to avoid camera shake.

Camera Settings

When setting up your camera for photographing the Aurora Borealis, start by using a high ISO (800-3200) to capture the faint light of the aurora. Set your aperture to the widest possible (f/2.8 or lower) to let in as much light as possible. Experiment with different shutter speeds, starting with 15-30 seconds, to see what works best for the brightness of the aurora.


When composing your Aurora Borealis photos, look for interesting foreground elements to add depth and context to your images. Trees, mountains, or bodies of water can all make great foreground subjects. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to find the most visually appealing composition.


The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that can be unpredictable. While the best time to see the Northern Lights is during the winter months when the nights are long and dark, they can also be visible in the fall and spring. Keep an eye on aurora forecasts and be prepared to stay out late or wake up early to catch the best displays.


After capturing your Aurora Borealis photos, don’t forget to post-process them to enhance their beauty. Use editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust the exposure, contrast, and colors of your images. Be careful not to overdo it – the goal is to enhance the natural beauty of the aurora, not alter it completely.


Capturing the beauty of the Aurora Borealis in photos can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following these tips and tricks, you can improve your chances of capturing stunning images of this natural phenomenon. Remember to be patient and persistent, as the Aurora Borealis can be elusive but well worth the wait.

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