Northern Lights in Northern Norway: A Sky full of Light

12 April 2015
Photo credit: noorderlicht_by_mark_groen

In search for… The Northern Lights in Norwegian Lapland!

Or hunting the aurora borealis (its scientific name). Sounds awesome right?

Even though they look close, the Northern Lights actually are more than 100 kilometers away. Just make sure you’re in a dark area without light pollution. Prepare for something exciting. Because you never know if they come, when they come and how bright the lights will be.

Photo by Mark Groen

The full moon and glistering snow are making this magical already. Unbelievably beautiful. For a while we can’t see anything. All you do is wait. But then someone starts seeing “something”. This something is starting to become a greenish arrow… Then we find ourselves yelling euphorically! It comes and it goes. Slowly, as one giant ray of soft light.
Make sure you dress properly because with a temperature of -15 degrees C it’s rough out there for snow-sceptics like us!

Tips on how to photograph the Northern Lights

Your camera can register more than the human eye can. So in real life they will probably be a little less bright. But even so it’s still stunning and very special.
Thank heavens for the photos. I still dream away when looking at them.

Tips from photographer Mark Groen, who was shooting for Discovery Magazine during our trip, on how to shoot the Northern Lights (these are all his photos!):

  • * Manual mode: ISO 200 – 400, aperture 2,8 (minimum) and shutter speed 4 – 8 sec;
  • * Great effect with 24mm wide angle zoom lens or 20-24mm for a full frame camera;
  • * Always use a tripod;
  • * It’s best to use a remote for your camera (to avoid blurring);
  • * Bring a headlight;
  • * Shoot in raw (easy editing);
  • * I wear those handy iPhone gloves in the cold;
  • * See if you can frame an interesting scenery (those red small Norwegian cabins or a lake). In the first photo I made use of the mountains to show the immensity of the scene.

My additions:

  • * Wear thermo socks!;
  • * Full battery and lots of memory;
  • * Lots of layers and a windproof jacket because it’s C.O.L.D. Got this tip from 2 tough fishing women: wear wool!;
  • * Test your camera during day-time. Pre-set the manual function. Or have somebody set it for you (like in my case..);
  • * Download the app Norway Lights so you know at what time you have to stand ready.

nature_vesteralen_by_mark_groen Photo by Mark Groen

What’s the best period to see the Northern Lights?

Statistically March is the best period for this. Let’s say that you’ll have a good chance of spotting it from September until April.

How to get to the Northern part of Norway?

Option 1 is to book a flight from Amsterdam to Oslo and from Oslo to Andenes. Or you can book a direct flight from Amsterdam to Evenes (only a couple of times a year). At the airport you can easily rent a car.

Tip: KLM has flights to Oslo starting at € 99,-! Click here for the best rates >> or use Skyscanner to search cheap tickets for all airlines.

* Need more info on this beautiful country and all it has to offer?
You can find a lot of information, photos, videos and tips about Norway on the website of Visit Norway.

This is B.!

She loves to travel like a good YLBB correspondent should. The most beautiful and awesome places she wants to share with anyone who’s up for it.

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