The northern lights or Aurora Borealis is quite simply one of the most impressive natural displays of wonder that Mother Nature ever conceived. Across the northern parts of Europe at just the right moment, you can look up into the sky to see a light show of dazzling colors dancing their way across the night sky. This wondrous event is caused by charged up atomic particles that are struck by solar winds, the atoms become depleted and ionized and release a range of colors that light up the sky in a show that the hands of man could never recreate.
If you want to see this incredible exhibition of nature then here is how you can get the best out of it.
Where to See It
This year looks set to be one of the best years to see Aurora for over a decade and it can be best seen from the high north of Europe. Whilst the lights can be seen from places like eastern Scotland such as Aberdeen, if you want to guarantee the best seat in the house then you need to head further north. Regions across Norway and Sweden offer great viewing spots and Iceland is one of the best places in the World to witness the lights.
How to See It
The best location for you to get the most out of the experience will be one with very low levels of light pollution. The darker the sky the better and across Scandinavia you can find some great geothermal spots which offer a dark sky. It is also important that you have a cloudless sky in order to see the full array of lights which are on offer. From the 15th of September to the 15th of April is the best time to see the lights.
You don’t need any kit to see the lights, they are very visible with the naked eye, you just need to ensure that you have a great spot and lots of patience as it is not a continuous activity. Spending the night in a tent under the stars will be the best way to see the lights, you will have time on your hands to wait and you can truly experience the majesty of Aurora in this way.
How to Photograph It
Naturally you will want to take some snaps of the incredible light show and there are a few tips and tricks to help you do it. You will need a digital camera that has a manual mode and you will also need to have some interchangeable lenses. Once the show begins, try with a few different settings to get the most out of your shot. In order to truly capture the lights at their best you should use a tripod, even the most skilled photographers can end up with poor shots without using one as the dancing lights don’t give a solid image. The key is to take plenty of shots using different settings in order to find the best combination for you.