For the next three days I am going to be posting information on how to better capture the northern lights… where to go, when to go and what gear to use.
Today We are going to look at when is the best time to photograph the northern lights
The Northern Lights are typically visible year-round in the northern and southern hemispheres… however, they can only be seen or photographed when the sky is dark.
As there are vast differences in the number of night hours in the farther northern and southern reaches of the earth, the best time to photograph the aurora start around mid-September when we begin to have 10+ hour nights and last until early March.
The benefit of the length of dark skies is that you will have more opportunity to see the lights. Many people I talk to think that the lights only come out at night. That’s not the case. The northern lights happen 24 hours a day, they just are not visible until the sun sets.
When I go out to photograph the aurora, or take my groups out to photograph the aurora; I head out before sunset in order to get set up before dark. It also allows us the opportunity to shoot the golden hour and blue hour… in the photo below we had set up at the side of a lake facing the northern sky and spend some time photographing the setting sun while we waited for the northern lights to appear… which usually starts an hour or two after the sun sets.
Come back tomorrow as I discuss preparing to photograph the northern lights.
If you want to come with us on one of our tours to photograph the northern lights, please visit our Canadian Workshop and Tour page here. We visit the Yukon quite often, http://northof49photography.com/photo-workshops