Iceland’s Northern Lights are one of its major attractions, mystifying more than any other natural marvel but there's also nothing worse than witnessing the phenomena and not being prepared to capture the memory forever! So how do you photograph the northern lights?
Taking photos in the dark isn’t easy when you don’t know what you’re doing. Have you ever tried to take a photo of the moon at night? Did yours also turn out like a blurry glowing bulb in the sky? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! We’ve these tips, we can help you prepare to take high quality photographs of the Northern Lights on your next trip to Iceland.
Tip 1: Avoid towns and other light sources
Your camera will definitely be able to capture the Northern Lights better when you are out in complete darkness, so avoid searching for them in residential areas like the middle of Reykjavik! Instead, take a Northern Lights Escorted tour where they will take you to some of the most remote areas of Iceland’s countryside for the best views and shots!
Tip 2: Get to know your phone
If you’re snapping photos of the Northern Lights with your phone, then get to know some of the settings it offers ahead of your trip. Make sure your lens is clean and smudge free too so you don’t have any dodgy smears across what could have been the perfect insta-pic!
Tip 3: Get a tripod
Whether you’re shooting on a professional camera or a smartphone, find yourself a decent tripod so you can keep the camera still during the shoot. Dark images need a long exposure and even the slightest movement can leave you with a blurry, soupy photo.
Tip 4: Switch to Manual Mode
The automode on your phone is generally not ideal for capturing the Northern Lights so try your manual settings instead. We recommend looking for some pre-sets recommended for night sky shots. You can also adjust things like ISO and exposure. We recommend dialling your ISO to 800 and your exposure to 15-seconds.
Tip 5: Get an app
There are plenty of fantastic smartphone apps that are designed especially for adjusting your camera to night-time mode. There are plenty of free ones that are great, but if you are willing to spend a couple of quid on a paid one, then do it! These apps will help adjust your camera settings all for you and many even come with modes especially for the northern lights.