Icelandic ViewBug community member GulliVals is a self-taught photographer who spends a lot of his time in the mountains shooting in rugged terrains and  harsh weather. GulliVals shares the following quick tips on how to improve your Aurora Borealis photography.

Aurora Park - Iceland  by GulliVals

1. Forecast. Timing is everting! You need to make sure that you are in an area where the Aurora activity is frequent and to be ready to go when the action is happening, remember to check the Aurora forecasts.

Message from above  by GulliVals

2. Location.  Find a good spot away from the city lights, I usually go out and spot these locations during the daylight. I tend to take photos of the spot I like once I find a good location and then review these photos in my computer before I go out at night.

One of the best night  by GulliVals

3. RAW.  I use a Canon Mark II and a wide angle Samyang 14mm f2,8 lens for all my Aurora shots, I always shoot in RAW format.

Panorama from Thingvellir Iceland  by GulliVals

4. Checklist.  Having a checklist will help you make sure you don't forget any must have item. My checklist includes: 1 Camera, 2 full charged batteries , 2 flash cards, 1 Tripod , 1 head light , 1 shutter release or wireless trigger.

Frozen waterfall by GulliVals

5. Triggers.  Use the BULP mode, a shutter release trigger plus a tripod to ensure steady shots.

My small Cadillac by GulliVals

6. Focus. Focus your lens to infinity. Before it gets dark focus your camera on a distant infinity focal point such as a mountain horizon.

Utra power Aurora by GulliVals

7. ISO. I always start with ISO 400 and can bring is up to ISO 1600 depending on the brightness and the northern lights activity.

Solar storm hits earth by GulliVals

8. Exposure. Adjust the exposure time rather than the aperture. I usually have an exposure of 5 to 30 seconds.

My small Cadillac by GulliVals

9. Foreground. Use the time when you are waiting for the Aurora to find a nice foreground in the area. You have to work fast when the light are active, do not use that time for finding subjects or for trying to figure out the right composition.

Northern lights by GulliVals

10. Jacket. Make sure you are well prepared for a cold night, dress properly!

Here is a bonus tip:

11. Don't Fall Asleep. Stay awake and ready, the northern lights show can be over very quickly.



We hope you got as much inspiration as we did! See more of GulliVals's awesome photos, visit his profile!