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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-17-2015

Settings for Northern Lights

Can anyone tell me how to set up my SX40HS to take photos of the Northern LIghts.  I've tried to figure it out but just don't have enough knowledge of cameras.  Or will the Scene setting of Fireworks take the photos.  Thank you in advance.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,388
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Settings for Northern Lights

Since no one has answered I'll tell you how I'd go about it. We rarely see them here but way back in the 60's I lived in Saskatoon & they were a common sight there. I'd use a tripod & Av mode, ISO set in the 400 range to start with & go up or down a bit as I experimented. In Av mode try the different f stops (f 4.0, f 5.6, & f 8.0 one at a time and use the 2 sec timer mode to let the camera settle after pressing the shutter button. The camera will pick a shutter speed based on how much light it sees at each camera setting. and I doubt it will need a full 30 sec exposure but if it does use a higher ISO to get results. Fine tune your result by using Exposure Compensation as needed for a nice exposure. If these terms have lost you your manual is your friend & happy shooting.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-17-2015

Re: Settings for Northern Lights

THANK YOU so much!!  You are making me sort of get it.  I will try yet tonight to take photos here in Florida and hopefully make sense to it all for Iceland this week,  Again thank you soooo much!!! I would post stars etc to appreciate your input but am worried I'll screw it up!!!!

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Settings for Northern Lights

[ Edited ]

I would definately practice doing some night photography to get comfortable.  Try to get some decent star shots, if you're out of the city.   Personally I'd shoot in manual, but Av is fine if you're not comfortable with full manual. 

 

I found this link, and thought it was pretty interesting.  Way down towards the bottom he covers camera settings, but there's some good advice throughout.

 

http://www.alaskaphotographics.com/blog/how-to-photograph-the-northern-lights-with-a-digital-camera/

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-17-2015

Re: Settings for Northern Lights

Wow, what a great article, thanks for finding it!  I really appreciate the support and help! If I have any luck actually seeing the northern lights and even better getting a good shot I'll be in heaven.  Leaving in 2 days for Iceland. Thanks again

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,388
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Settings for Northern Lights

Florida to Iceland in winter. That's going to be a shock to your skin. Hope you've got warm mitts.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Settings for Northern Lights


@sktomber wrote:

Wow, what a great article, thanks for finding it!  I really appreciate the support and help! If I have any luck actually seeing the northern lights and even better getting a good shot I'll be in heaven.  Leaving in 2 days for Iceland. Thanks again


Do what you can to familiarize yourself with the camera and the settings beforehand, but once you're there, just have fun and take some pics.  I'm jealous, Iceland has been on my tick list for awhile now; keep passing it up for other venues.  Some day...

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-17-2015

Re: Settings for Northern Lights

Thanks to everyone with all your help!!  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate to see the Northern Lights.  But we absolutely had a wonderful time and hopefully I have some excellent shots of the geysers, waterfalls, and the Blue Lagoon.

 

 

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