Northern Lights in Northern Norway, Lyngenfjord, by Francisco Damm
©Francisco Damm

Tips for taking a northern lights photo

Taking a photo of the northern lights is not rocket science. It is even possible to take ok photos with your cell phone. In the Lyngenfjordregion, not far from Tromsø, you will have ample opportunities to try your luck waiting for the northern lights and photographing it.

Here are some tips for you for capturing the green lady dancing across the sky on camera:

Key points to remember when taking a northern lights photo:

  • Keep the camera steady, a tripod is recommended
  • Set the camera focus to infinity
  • Use as wide aperture as you can, like f2.8, f3, f4 - depends on the how bright it is outside as well
  • Longer exposure time, normally 5-10 seconds is enough. If it is a slow moving aurora try 10-20 seconds. 
  • ISO at 800, this again depends on how bright it is. If it is dark you might want to try a higher ISO.
  • Be prepared and know your camera settings before heading outside. You want to be ready when the lights appear.

For good photos, a camera where you can use manual settings is better than just using auto.

Remember if you are outside photographing the aurora, we recommend you to:

  • wear warm clothes
  • wear warm gloves
  • wear warm shoes 
  • bring an extra battery for your camera
  • bring a headlamp to see what you are doing
  • maybe even bring a thermos with something warm to drink
  • DO NOT stop in the middle of the road, make sure you are well away from traffic on the roads

Have fun and try different settings when outside.