Nikolai Vestbøstad's picture

How do you guys handle light polution?

I had a photoshoot trying to get some northern lights, and my testshots showed a issue i did not think about, even thou it was completley dark to the eyes, the few clouds reflected alot of the lights from a nearby "city". what would you do?

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Marcin Świostek's picture

I don't think there is much to do except hoping for a clear sky and going away from the city. 😔

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Just like Marcin wrote - there's not much you can do when you find yourself in that situation. Best is to avoid it in the first place. Look for places with low light pollution (tools like can come in handy) and hope / aim for the cloudless weather at night.

Alternatively - you can use it creatively to your advantage, if you will. ;)

Marcin Świostek's picture

About the advantage: there was this photo during the last Critique the Community that was obviously a light pollution but the guys at fstoppers had no idea. Made me laugh a bit. ;)

Nikolai Vestbøstad's picture

Ive come to the conclution that it can go two ways, either you roll with it and use the effect or you go to antartica

Marcin Świostek's picture

Pretty much. ;)
I think your location is good. Without the clouds and with some mild pollution in the background the mountains would get some nice backdrop.

Bill Peppas's picture

The ideal solution is to go far away from cities.
The other partly solution, is to use a LPF ( Light Pollution Filter ) ( and possibly desaturate any escaping color bands )

Bill Metallinos's picture

There are some tricks about lightpollution.

-First of all, try to takea picture with out clouds.
The more clouds (or humidity) above the lightpolluted area the more lightpollution.
So id there was no cloud it would be much darker.

-There are some inside-filters for lightpollution, uhc-s, cls, cls2 etc for Dslr cameras.(there are some color changes)
You can take some extra capture with them and merge the images.

-Try in Photoshop to reduce the colour and the luminosity of the yellow on that specific area with a mask.
-Try Astronomy Tools action, reduce light pollution
-Also try Nik Collection, use Viveza2, add point to yellow lightpollution, desaturate, change luminosity and color.

Jen Photographs's picture

There is a newish Hoya filter that's supposed to help with light pollution. I haven't tried, so I can't vouch for it, but Lonely Speck wrote a review and he seemed to like it. I've no idea how it affects the northern lights, though.

Bill Metallinos's picture

Hi Jen, it looks like it cuts of some of light pollution. But it depends the light emitted type of the area.

Light pollution is about at 545nm, 550, 560, 580, 590, 610nm
But it looks like it cuts off some part between 560nm and 600nm. It lets out all the 545nm.
Any way, for their money its pretty good and cheap. So easily someone can been helped with that. I will test it, thanks.

Jen Photographs's picture

Let us know how you like it! It's on my list of things to get when I start doing more astro.