This Aurora photograph was taken on a moonless night on Jökulsarlon South East Iceland. This Aurora was barely visible to the naked eye, but 1600iso and f/1.4 was enough to capture it in 30 seconds. The new moon phases are great for northern lights photography because there is no light pollution from the moon. The main benefit is that it is possible to capture really weak auroras. This doesn’t sound like everyone’s dream, but it means that you have a better chance of capturing something so long as the sky is clear. Also, it is possible to capture both Milky Way and a weak aurora together.
Magic cloth technique
I covered the sky half way through the exposure. This meant that the reflection had twice as much exposure. This really helps when you start pushing the levels in post processing.
This night photograph was created from 2 frames stitched together. The original frames were vertical frames so the result is not a long panorama, but rather a large square photo.
One of the things I love to do with recent Lightroom versions is to play with low contrast adjustments and introducing de-haze.
Although the Northern lights require a long exposure, the object is often to reduce exposure time as much as possible to achieve a usable exposure and with minimal star trails.
Taken on July 17, 2011 on a photo tour through Iceland’s Southern Highlands (or Fjallabak – behind the mountains).