In my Camera Bag

The Aurora Borealis season has started!! Up North, nights are dark and it is getting colder. Photographers are gearing up for some amazing displays.

Is your photo gear ready for spending hours outside photographing the northern lights? Mine is…

My bags (2) are packed with:

  • Two DSLRs with manual settings for focus, shutter speed, aperture and ISO. One for regular photography and one for time-lapses.
  • Wide angle and fast lenses. A wide angle lens is needed to capture as much as possible of the landscape and sky; a fast lens to allow for shorter exposures. The shorter the exposure, the sharper the northern lights are so one can capture details of light curtains, and fast moving auroras. My favorite lenses are a 14-24 mm f2.8, 20 mm f1.8, 24 mm f1.4 and 16 mm f2.4.
  • Sturdy tripods. Exposures can range from ½ sec to 10-15 sec.
  • Remote shutter release cables.
  • Spare batteries and chargers. Cold weather, wind chill factor, long time outside… A great combination to drain batteries.
  • Spare memory cards. You can never have enough!
  • Protective gear for cameras and lenses. My trusted Camera Parkas from AT Frosted Lens have been put to the test for frost, extreme cold and humidity.
  • Tools for tripods.
  • Other: headlamp, gloves, chemical heat warmers, warm clothes, empty filter boxes, gaffer tape to tape focus rings, tools for tripod, smartphone for safety and apps, emergency blanket, flashlight or other lights for light painting, cleaning kit…

Photo gear and accessories for photographing northern lights

Before I leave home, I always prepared my equipment. Here is my to do list before heading out:

  • Empty memory cards
  • Fully charge batteries
  • Clean lenses
  • Remove protective/UV filters from lenses
  • Set DSLRs and lenses (if applicable) to M (Manual)
  • Select Mode Manual and use the following presets as a starting point:
    • Set aperture to widest (smaller f number)
    • Set ISO around 1600
    • Set shutter speed to 5 sec
  • Attach the remote shutter release cables
  • Put the Camera Parkas on
    Camera protective cover from AT Frosted Lens

    Camera Parka from AT Frosted Lens – protects from wind, humidity, cold and frost