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Nordlys - Fotosafari

Fang Nordlyset

Hvis himmelen er klar og stjernene skinner, er det stor sannsynlighet at nordlyset danser flørtende på nattehimmelen. Bli med vår profesjonelle fotograf og guide, Frank, på en minneverdig tur i Vesterålen på jakt etter nordlyset! Frank lærer deg hvordan og hvor du best kan se nordlyset og ta bilder av nordlyset med et lite kurs i forkant av jakten.

Ha kameraet klart og husk varme klær! Et kamerastativ er nødvendig for å få gode bilder av nordlyset.

Fotografering av nordlys: Tips og synspunkter

Written by Frank Olsen:

We are now in Vesterålen, close to the small town of Sortland.. This is not far from the well-known Lofoten Archipelago. This means we enjoy the midnight sun at summertime, but also a period during winter, December – January, when the sun do not raise above the horizon. 

I guess some of you know this: Aurora occurs all year around, and as long as it is dark enough, you can see it. 

Not until the end of August is it dark enough at night to see the auroras. So, beginning of September you can start looking for it. Even in September, there can be great weather and temperatures. 

However, I think February-March probably is the best month for Aurora. Just keep in mind; this is more or less related to Norway conditions. I know Alaska and Canada can be much colder than Norway. So be very aware of your state when you are out in extreme cold. Go back to your car and warm up. (Leave the camera outside) 


March is still winter in Arctic, and temperature can drop to -15̊C / 5 ̊F or even lower. In addition, beware of the possibility of snowy weather. 

One thing is to predict Aurora activity, but to predict weather is quite another matter… However, March can provide great weather for many days in a row. 

Anyway, you should check out weather and forecast before you travel. No use to go long distances if there is a poor weather forecast. 

Clothing / equipment: 

Bring enough warm clothes! In addition, keep some extra clothing in your car. 

A field trip can last for several hours. Make sure you have tried the cloths while you still are at home. Just to make sure that all fit. 

  • Wide boots that's roomy enough for two or three pair of wool socks 
  • Thick insulated jacket and trousers 
  • Gloves 
  • Hood 
  • Head flash light (batteries) 
  • Sitting pad is you are out for several hours, or you need to get down on the ground 
  • Thermos bottle for hot drinks 

Camera and settings: 

I guess you are experienced photographers, but anyway: 

Proper camera equipment: 
  • Tripod, (because of long exposures) 
  • Remote wired control for the camera. IR controllers are poor when the temperature drops 
  • Extra batteries for the camera, make sure they are fully charged 
  • Cloths or other cleaning equipment for the lens. 
  • Extra memory card,( I’ve filled a 32 GB memory card on one trip) 
  • You should use wide angle lenses with low aperture, f/2,8 or even lower. You will also get it off with lenses with lower light sensitivity. Also, make sure the lens is clean. At low temperatures, a dirty front element is likely to freeze over from dew. Moreover, do never breathe on the lens when it is cold! If you have the possibility to bring an extra lens, do it. If your lens starts to freeze over it is useless. Then switch lenses, and put the cold one in your car with heater on low temperature. You can even keep it inside your jacket 
  • Make sure you know the camera well! All settings for night photographing is important to know. If you get in the field in cold temperatures, and don’t know your camera settings, it’s too late to learn this 
  • All aurora photos usually are taken with manual settings. I use a Canon EOS 1Dx mk2, and my Aurora lenses are either the Canon 16-35L f/2,8 mk2 or the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED(with a Novoflex adapter). I can go high on my ISO settings. ISO 6400 works fine. 
Start with these settings: 
  • Always remember to switch off any image stabilizer on your lens before starting. 
  • Focus: If your lens is even slightly out of focus, your photo is ruined. So… If your camera is equipped with “live view”, open this and magnify max on a light far away, or the brightest star. If you do not have “live view” on your camera, you need to find your “infinity” on your lens (remember that focus will alter if you change from 16 to 35 mm). You will need to find where the lens is in focus during daytime. And you need to notice exactly where this is on your lens. You will probably not be able to see it on your camera screen if it is slightly out of focus. 
  • Always check focus when you move tripod / camera. 
  • ISO 1600 or higher 
  • Aperture f/2,8 or as low as you get 
  • Focal length wide open 
  • 15 second exposure time, or longer. Adjust settings as needed. For cameras with cropped sensors, ISO 1600 I’d say is top, because of noise. It is better with ISO 800 and longer exposure time 
  • The best way to train for aurora photography, is photographing stars or the Milky Way in the middle of night. If you manage this, you will also manage aurora photos. 

Foto: Vesteralen Photo / Frank Olsen


Dates: September 14 - March 17th 2018

Location: Vesterålen, Norway

Available seats: 10/10 (2 pax minimum)

Difficulty level: Easy

Price: From 1250,- NOK per person. 

Nordlys Fotosafari 1


Uten fotokurs, ca 3,5 timer
Minimum 2 pers, eller 2500,- for 1

Nordlys Fotosafari 2


Med fotokurs, ca 4,5 timer
Minimum 2 pers, eller 2900,- for 1


Booking av opplevelser må gjøres via telefon 76 15 29 99 eller Denne e-postadressen er beskyttet mot programmer som samler e-postadresser. Du må aktivere javaskript for å kunne se den.

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Vesterålen Kysthotell AS

Telefon: 76 15 29 99
Adresse: Pb 64, 8455 Stokmarknes
Epost: Denne e-postadressen er beskyttet mot programmer som samler e-postadresser. Du må aktivere javaskript for å kunne se den.