Ten Quick Tips for Northern Lights Photography

Recently, Micael Widell was lucky enough to catch the northern lights over his hometown Stockholm. The experience of seeing and photographing aurora borealis inspired him to compile a video of the best tips to capture the northern lights with a camera.

First, the Swedish photographer explains how to monitor the solar activity and read the KP-index chart. It is no surprise that you need to be quite far up north on the globe to get to see the northern lights. They are, on occasion, visible as far south as northern Germany, but that is a rare occurrence. However, north of the pole circle gives you a better chance. Use one of the many aurora apps for smartphones to get alerts and information on when to go out. It needs to be pretty dark outside, so this is an activity for winter nights.

Northern Lights over Stockholm. Image by Micael Widell.

Due to the nature of a northern light chase, adequate clothing is critical. It is very easy to overlook the importance of dressing warmly when you go out. “You will sometimes have to wait for hours until the northern lights come out, and your toes and hands often start suffering from the cold first,” said Widell. “Use warm snow boots, have both thin and thick gloves with you (thin ones for operating the camera), and dress in many layers in general.”

Feel free to watch the video to discover all the photography tips or read the article on Widell’s personal blog.

You can follow Widell's work on his website, Instagram, and 500px account.

Images by Micael Widell and used with permission.

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