©Wolfgang Kaehler

Northern Lights

Taking photos of the northern lights at 3 am from a small boat at anchor is tricky.  There is always a little movement even the sea was calm.  It was almost completely dark.  I mounted my Nikon D4 on the tripod and cranked up the ISO to 6400 and used a focal length of 24mm.  In order to minimize the length of the exposure, I set the Aperture to 2.8 which gives me zero depth of field.  So, how do you focus? I barely could see a ridgeline of a hill.  I pointed the camera to the hill and tried to set the autofocus sensor on the line, focused by using back focus, and re-composed.  The exposure was ½ a second.  Shooting in RAW format gave me more flexibility in post developing and I was able to bring out the northern lights as well as some of my surroundings.  I reduced the digital noise with NIK Define.

Northern Light photo with processing

Northern Light photo after processing


Northern Light photo without processing

Northern Light photo without processing

Posted September 4, 2015 | Categories: Blog. Tags: darkness, high ISO, long exposure, night photos, northern lights, photography, and tripod.

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