|Aurora Borealis at Ersfjordbotn, in Tromso, Norway. The little red guy there at the bottom center of the picture is me trying to take a picture of the Aurora.|
(Picture credit: Nikita Pere, another awesome solo traveler I met in Tromso)
- DSLR camera - or any camera that has the option for manual setting (i.e change aperture, shutter speed, ISO, timer, white balance). I used Nikon D7000.
- Tripod - a must have item.
- Wide angle lens, especially with f/2.8. The smaller this f number, the better. I used a 11-16mm f/2.8 lens for this aurora shot.
- Spare batteries - because in colder temperature the battery may dry out quite fast.
2) Camera Setting
- ISO: High ISO setting is required. It ranges from ISO1000 to maybe ISO2000 or higher, depending on the ambient lights at the surrounding.
- Aperture: I set it at smallest 'f'' number I can, based on the lens I used. In my case, it was f/2.8.
- Shutter speed: Similar like ISO setting, it varies depending on the ambient lights, as well as the intensity of the aurora itself. My setting ranged from 10secs to 25secs exposure. You have to keep on trying and changing the shutter speed setting to get the best exposure. Because of this long exposure requirement, that's why a tripod is a must.
- White balance: This was something I didn't know much. But my friend Nikita told me to use 5000K for the white balance setting to bring up the dark-blue-ish colour temperature of the night sky. 'Warmer' white balance setting will make the dark sky turns slightly brownish-yellowish.
- Change to manual focus on your lens, and set the focus to be at infinity. In the dark you cannot rely on the auto-focus as most of the times your camera won't be able to focus in the darkness.
- You can either use a remote shutter, or you can also the built in auto-timer on your camera (e.g. 2secs or 5secs). We do not want to have any vibration at the camera when the shutter opens for long period of time or else the image captured will be blurry.
There's only one final thing.. well, perhaps two things.
First, wear warm clothing and use proper snow boots if the area is covered in snow. You need to be standing outside in the cold for hours.
Second, be patient. Be extra patient...
|It may not be clear in this picture, but there were purple and blue-ish colors too in this aurora.|
|A shooting star decided to join the aurora party.|
|These are the very first set of pictures when I first saw the aurora in my whole life. Taken at Skibotn near Tromso, Norway.|
My camera setting were a bit haywire. I used auto WB therefore the color appears to be a little bit 'warm'.
|My jaw dropped upon seeing the lights dancing and flickering in the sky above my head at Ersfjordbotn, Tromso, Norway.|
Speechless moment it was.
I'm lost for words...
P/s: You can read about how to search or chase the aurora in my Ep. 3 here.