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First ever widefield northern lights


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So I've spend years actually trying to get images of the Northern Lights and I'm not the worlds best photographer at the best of times (hence the conversion to astrophotography taking a while!) but finally managed to get some good images this weekend in Iceland.

Thanks for looking

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Lovely! Great that you have captured them so well after years of trying.

What settings did you use on your camera? Could you go somewhere away from artificial lights and leave the shutter open for longer? 10-20 seconds?

Imm very envious of you a)living in iceland and b)having seen and imaged the northern lights.


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Hey James thanks for your kind comments. Sadly I don't actually live in Iceland, in fact I live rather less glamourously just outside Reading! I've travelled to the arctic circle a bit for astronomy reasons and always tried to capture the lights (as a side project) but never really been successful.

As I've tried to move over the astrophotography more I've been more interesting in getting them but it's been hard!

Camera settings (that worked best) were ISO 1600 and a shutter speed of 25 secs, F3.5. 25 seconds was as slow shutter speed as I could go before I started to get trails. The lens was at 18mm but it was just a standard 18-55mm lens, a better 25mm f1.5 would have been better but I didn't bring one because I thought the weather would be rubbish!

I could have gone further away but in Iceland it's not wise to go too far from the beaten path in certain areas because you never know what's under foot!



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Ah, reading :) nearly as "glamorous" as nottingham!!!!

I have been once but didn't see the northern lights, but would love to return.

25 seconds, ok. So how do people get those really bright green shows? Is it just dependant on the seeing conditions and ambient lighting?

But still smashing.


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Yeah I think good seeing conditions is essential, I didn't have fantastic conditions. I also think a better lens helps. Lower F Stop would have allowed more light in (just like a bigger aperture in a scope) which means I could have got more colour in the same time period. Problem is those lenses are mega money!

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