How to photograph the Northern Lights

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Hunting the Aurora is tricky in Iceland, due to fast changing weather circumstances and almost unpredictable conditions. To get an orientation, check out the Aurora forecast on this website.

In genal, we recommend you to take a guided tour with one of the excellent Northern Lights tour guides listed on our page.

They know the best spots to photograph and where to find the Aurora. Some of them are also excellent photographers who will share their tips.

Before you start your own hunt, bring your camera to us to get great tips for the right settings on your camera. We offer a photo boost where you can try your gear under almost real circumstances. No camera? Now worries – you can rent one here as well.

Good luck and happy hunting!

The gear for taking Northern Lights photos

  • DSLR Camera with wide angle lens
  • Tripod
  • Very warm clothes, hat and gloves
  • Headlamp with red light
  • Min. 2 pairs of fully charged batteries
  • Patience

Optional:

  • Remote

The basic settings for photographing the Aurora

  • ISO 800
  • Aperture 3.5 or lower
  • Exposure time 10-20 seconds
  • Manual focus

How to focus in the darkness

Method 1:

  • Focus on a light source in a distance. This could be the moon, a very bright star or a light on a farm/ a car.

Method 2:

  • Visit the same spot at daytime and keep the focus.

Method 3:

  • Just set your lens in the infinity mode

General tips

Aurora hunting is tricky, and a lot of patience is the key. The best season is September/ October and March/ April. In general, the Aurora is visible in Iceland between September and middle of April.

It is unpredictable, when the Aurora occurs and how long it lasts. Statisticly, chances are best around magnetic midnight, which is in Iceland around 11 pm.

Make sure you are very well dressed, take some hot drinks with you and don´t forget to face North (this is where the lights usually occur from!).

WELCOME TO OUR AURORA REYKJAVÍK EXHIBITION

Grandagarður 2
101 Reykjavík​
Iceland
Tel: +354 780-4500
Send us a message!

OPEN EVERY DAY

09:00 - 21:00

EXHIBITION ENTRANCE

Adults ............................ 1600 ISK

Students, seniors ........1400 ISK

6-18 years .................... 1000 ISK