Like most anybody with a camera, last night found me standing in the dark with my lens gazing skyward. With the solar winds whipping up a frenzy of activity overhead, there was plenty to photograph. While keeping an eye on the auroral forecast, I scrolled through my mental database of potential shooting locations.
While the 'lights' were definitely impressive, the best part of the evening was getting to share the shoot with my daughter. Never having seen them before, she was excited to have the chance to shoot them as well. Knowing full well that she was going to be facing a tough day at school, she chose to join 'Pops' for the show.
With the location chosen and all the gear triple checked, we set off hoping for a great show. We did not have to wait long after our arrival for the show to begin. It wasn't long until I could see the excitement on my daughters face in the glow of the LCD screen as she reviewed her images.
After a couple of hours, and a few hundred shots between us, it was time to head for home. I'm pretty sure that I won't have any problem convincing her to head out in the dark to capture the Northern Lights again.
I am frequently asked how to shoot the Northern Lights, so here are my recommendations. First off, YOU MUST HAVE A TRIPOD!!! This is NOT an option!!! You will also want a fast, wide angle lens and shoot with it wide open. I set the camera to manual mode with a shutter speed of between 6 - 10 seconds MAXIMUM. Anything longer than that will typically result in just a big green blob in the sky. I then adjust my ISO to achieve the desired exposure. Once that's set, enjoy the show and keep on clicking!!