Aurora photos are incredibly inspiring, but they are not easy to take. Photographing the northern lights takes a huge amount of patience. On top, you´ll need a lot of knowledge of how amounts of light and speed interact within your personal device.

To get inspired and learn the basic knowledge, come and see beautiful and awarded Northern Lights Photos of Iceland at AURORA REYKJAVÍK’S Northern Lights Center.

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


  • Remote

The basic settings for taking Aurora photos

  • 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

Aurora at Langjökull Glacier, 16mm, F4, 10 seconds

Aurora at Vestrahorn, 16mm, F4, 20 seconds

Aurora and the full moon, 28 mm, F4, 2 seconds

Aurora at Godafoss, 16 mm, F4, 8 seconds

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 genreal, 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!

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