These magnificent light shows can add an extra dimension to night photography because they add strong colours and depth to the sky. Sometimes they can be so bright that you could argue it is no longer night photography because exposures can be so short. Modern DSLRs can see the Northern lights with the live view better than the eye. With such fantastic high iso performance, you can photograph bright auroras in just a few seconds, which means you are catching 100s of photographs in a night.
We were at the Jökulsarlon Glacier lagoon during our Winter workshop. These Auroras were nothing special, they were mostly green and appeared to be blurred because of the dust in the air. The orange glow to the right is from the Holuhraun volcanic eruption which was going on about 100 miles North of us. There is a possibility that there is a huge screen of ash making the Northern lights seem blurred. My Canon 24mm prime lens was broken in a wind related accident, so I was stuck with my Zeiss 50mm prime. This is not an ideal focal length for Aurora photography, but it is a perfect focal length for panoramas.
Adobe Lightroom Panorama
As thi was a planned panorama, each frame has exactly the same exposure and focus. I can simply adjust
picture and copy the settings to the other photo by sync. or by copying previous settings. First, I increased exposure and clarity for the foreground.
Next I increased white and de-haze for the sky.
I simply copied the settings to the other photograph and merged them into a panorama.
Read more about photographing the Northern Lights.
Or come and do it for real in Iceland…
A total guide to taking photographs of the Northern lights for Digital Cameras & wide angle lenses. This night photography guide includes camera settings, equipment suggestions and some Northern lights photo examples.
This night photograph, from Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in Iceland, captured Northern Lights and a comet disappearing into the North sky over Iceland.
For Iceland based photographers, photographing the Milky Way is generally something we do while we are waiting for the Northern Lights to appear.
Iceland photography on coffee mugs!!
See the full collection HERE.