Photographing the Northern Lights – Part 3 – What Photo Gear Do You Need

Ensuring that you bring all the right equipment with you is essential. You may not find a camera store where you are traveling to! And remember that you may spend most of the night out, in the dark, in the cold, without access to power. Doesn’t it sound like fun?

Here is the photo equipment that I take for a night out when photographing auroras:

  1. CameraDSLR with manual capabilities. You need to be able to set aperture, shutter speed and ISO, as well as manual focus.
  2. LensesFast to allow for shorter exposure, and wide angles to capture as much of the northern lights as possible. I find that the Nikkor 14-24mm, f2.4 and 24mm, f1.4 are great lenses.
  3. Tripod – One cannot underestimate the need for a sturdy tripod.
  4. RemoteA shutter release cable is preferred to a wireless remote – remember that it will be cold!
  5. BatteriesSpare batteries are a must, all fully charged.
  6. Memory cardsLots!
  7. Flashlight.

I highly recommend that you practice operating your camera in the dark, while wearing gloves. You will have a much better time enjoying and capturing the northern lights if you don’t have to struggle with settings in the dark.

Can you change the ISO in the dark? Are you an expert at focusing on stars in a dark sky?

Yes???  Excellent!