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Shooting Tip: Aurora Borealis

Last updated 2010-01-10 - Send Feedback
Related: how-to

The Aurora Borealis (or Aurora Australis) can make beautiful images.

You best best is to choose a camera with low noise, like the Nikon D3s (see the review in DAP); this allows shorter exposures with still very low noise, important for such beautiful smooth color.

You must use a tripod, and don’t be discouraged by just what you can see; I could see very little color in these images, but the camera certainly could. Exposures typically were in the 2-30 second range at ISO 200 or so.

You can liven up some scenes by lighting the foreground. For the image below I used the Lupine Wilma, powerful enough to illuminate the trees and antlers.

Aurora Borealis with Antlers, Whitefish Lake, Canada
Aurora Borealis, Whitefish Lake, Canada

 

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