Northern Lights???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TAG, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. TAG

    TAG TPF Noob!

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    Well I am living in the North now and the Northern lights are said to be amazing up here. I'm wondering as a noobie what kind of equipment I need to capture a picture of them. I've been told they are extremely hard to capture on camera.

    This is what I have
    Canon A620
    Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi
    Canon 18-55 IS
    Canon 55-250 IS
    Canon EF 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens

    I know I need a good tripod. looking around at them. hope to pick one up soon

    Any filters or other equipment I should get?

    Thanks
    -TAG
     
  2. josealb

    josealb TPF Noob!

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    If they're very dim lights you might need to use very long exposures. You'll need to get a remote to be able to use bulb mode on your camera.

    I've got a blog where i've written about very long exposures for capturing star trails, maybe you'd like to take a look.

    http://understandingphotographyblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/shooting-star-trails_05.html

    The procedure will probably be similar to that of shooting northern lights.

    I hope this helps
     
  3. TAG

    TAG TPF Noob!

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    THe northern lights move quite a bit so I don't think long exposure is quite right for them but perhaps I'm misunderstanding the concepts of it. I'll take a look thanks a lot

    -TAG
     
  4. BYoung

    BYoung TPF Noob!

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    I live in the Northwest Territories so I know how you want to take pictures of this great show. My best luck has been with my 50mm F1.8. The longer your shutter speed the more blurred they are, to me they look their best when they are frozen and you can see how big and cool they are. They always stick around for a while and move way to much to have a long shutter time so high aperture is the key (so i believe).

    Here are 2 examples of what I got in the spring. I wish they would show up more but all day sunlight really hinders them being seen during the summer.
    (larger versions can be seen in my flickr)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. josealb

    josealb TPF Noob!

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    If they move and you shoot them with a long exposure you'll have all the area they through painted with the light colors. Judging from the exif of some flickr photos however, I wouldn't recommend you using a very long exposure. Something between 30 seconds and 5 minutes will probably do.

    This shot was taken with a 44 sec exposure

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lastef/321615096/
     
  6. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Good luck and have fun.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. josealb

    josealb TPF Noob!

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    amazing shot, is it yours?
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    when i lived in yellowknife i had no problem shooting them.. and i'm pretty sure i was just using a crappy P&S [​IMG]
     
  9. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    yes, I wouldn't post it if it wasn't.
     

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