This photo was taken in Vesterålen, Northern Norway about 10 minutes drive from my house.
To shoot the Aurora Borealis you need to go out in the evenings and nights. I remember looking at the forecast and saw that there were good chances for a show this night, so I made some coffee, packed my gear and got in my car to drive to this location. When arriving the sky was dark, but after waiting for a while the sky exploded with green, yellow and purple tones.
This photo was made at 22 pm the 22 of October 2012
When shooting the Northern lights I try to stay away from to much light pollution. Luckily I live in a remote place, so it is not to hard to find a good location.
This was shot with my nikon d7000 and tamron 17-50mm 2.8. I placed the camera on my Manfrotto tripod and triggered the shutter with a cheap ir trigger.
17mm, ISO 1600, 5 sec at 2.8
I had taken some photos with my old nikon d80 and kit lens before but never got the results i wanted because the limitations of the camera. With my d7000 and 17-50 2.8 I knew I should be able to keep the shutter fast enough to freeze some of the movements of the lights. This inspired me to get outside night after night in the cold to finaly get this shot.
I try to not do to much to my photos of the Nothern lights. I have added a bit of contrast, removed a bit of noise and adjusted the WB a bit to get the colours the way I saw them when I was out.
In my camera bag
When I now go out to shoot these kind of photos i bring my Fujifilm xt1, my Samyang 12mm 2.0 and Fuji 16mm 1.6. Sometimes i also bring my 56mm 1.2 to get a closer crop. I also carry a tripod, 3-4 extra batteries, a headlamp, warm clothes coffee.
If you want to capture the Aurora Borealis you need to be prepared to go out several nights just to return back home empty handed. You never know when the light is going to show up, so you need to be patient, it often is a waiting game.
When going out it it is first of all important to bring warm clothes. If you are cold you it is not going to be a fun night. Also bring something hot to drink, it helps. A headlamp is also very good to have so that it is possible to walt to the locations in the dark.
When it comes to gear you will need some wide fast glass, at least 2.8. A good tripod is also essential. Because you are out in the cold it is a good idea to keep spare batteries close to the body to prevent them from dying in your camera bag.
The most important as it is with all photography is to have a good time shooting. If you can go with a friend the wait is going to seem a lot shorter :-)