Chasing the Northern Lights – Tips and Tricks

The season has begun and Lady Aurora has already blessed us with the most beautiful light shows right here on our property at Alaska Haven. Please find below quick tips for photographing the Northern Lights shared by the Explore Fairbanks Team.

  • Locate a dark area with minimal light pollution. Point your camera to the northern sky and compose your medium-distance foreground with a fixed object such as trees, hills or a cabin. On nights when the moon is bright take advantage of the light cast on the ground and other objects when photographing.
  • Use a digital camera with manual settings and a solid tripod. Bring extra camera batteries, a flashlight and dress for extended periods outdoors.
  • Manually set your your camera on its highest ISO setting, widest focal point and lowest aperture. Expose each shot for approximately 5 – 10 seconds. Longer exposures will result in brighter images, but stars will streak and the aurora will soften. Short exposures may have sharper detail, but dimmer images.
  • Every aurora and camera is distinctive, so experiment with different settings and exposure times to get the best shot. Review your shots and adjust the settings as needed.
  • Go Pros is a great tool to videograph and create time-lapse videos
  • Intensity varies daily, with the best displays from late evening to early morning hours.
  • Auroras range in color, although typically shades of green, they can also be yellow, magenta and red.
  • The aurora will be visible on an average of four out of five nights then the sky is clear and dark enough.
  • Since the weather is often unpredictable, staying a minimum of 3 nights will greatly increase your chance to see the aurora by 90%.

BOOK YOUR STAY TODAY! Alaska Haven is located outside the city limits (no light pollution as well as great elevation) making it an ideal place to photograph the northern lights or just viewing them by a warm fire from the large living room glass doors. In addition, our waterfront property offers beautiful opportunities to photograph the Northern Lights with light reflections of the water (fall) and with incredible winter scenes in the winter.

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We have certificates available to help remember this once in a lifetime experience.

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Visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Geophysical Institute website at http://www.gi.alaska.edu for current forecasts remembering that the intensity changes daily.

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