Taking aurora photos with your iPhone is easier than you might think. Here are some tips on how to get started.
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With the release of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has finally entered the world of professional photography. The new phones come with a triple-camera system that includes an Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto lens, as well as a LiDAR scanner for increased depth perception. This combination allows for some seriously stunning photos, especially when it comes to shooting the night sky.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can see the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights), then you already have the perfect subject matter for testing out your new phone’s camera system. Here’s everything you need to know about how to take Aurora photos with your iPhone.
What is an Aurora?
An aurora, sometimes referred to as a polar lights or northern lights, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are produced when charged particles from the sun interact with gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere. The resulting light show is spectacular and often appears in hues of green and pink.
If you’re lucky enough to witness an aurora, you might be wondering how to take aurora photos with your iPhone. Here are a few tips:
– Use Night mode: Night mode is a feature on iPhone that allows you to take better low-light photos. To use Night mode, simply open your camera app and swipe to the right until you see the Night mode icon (it looks like a moon). Tap the shutter button to take a photo in Night mode.
– Find a dark location: Since auroras are best seen in low-light conditions, it’s important to find a location that is away from city lights. Once you’ve found a dark location, set up your tripod and mount your iPhone on it. This will help keep your camera still and ensure sharper photos.
– Use a long exposure: To really capture the beauty of an aurora, you’ll want to use a long exposure. This means that your camera shutter will be open for a longer period of time, allowing more light to enter the camera sensor and creating a more dramatic photo. To set a long exposure on your iPhone, open the Camera app and swipe to the right until you see the Long Exposure icon (it looks like an hourglass). Tap the shutter button and hold it down for 3-5 seconds.
The Science of Aurora Photography
As the solar winds interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, they create an invisible shell of electrically-charged particles around our planet. The charged particles are drawn to the North and South Poles, where they collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere. This collision causes the atoms to release photons, or units of light. The photons we see as an aurora are usually green or red, but can also be blue, violet, or even yellow.
To photograph the aurora, you need a camera that can capture long exposures without blurring. This means either using a tripod or some other form of image stabilization. You also need a camera that can shoot in manual mode, so that you can set your own exposure times.
It is important to use a low ISO setting (100-400) to avoid too much digital noise in your photos. A high shutter speed is also necessary to freeze the movement of the aurora. Depending on how active the aurora is, you may need to experiment with different exposure times (anywhere from 1 second to 30 seconds).
Once you have your camera settings figured out, point your lens towards the aurora and start shooting!
Tips for Aurora Photography
With the right camera and some planning, you can take amazing aurora photos with your iPhone. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Find a dark location away from city lights. The darker the better, as the aurora is quite faint and can be easily overwhelmed by light pollution.
2. Use a tripod or some other form of stabilization. Since the aurora is often in motion, you’ll need to keep your camera still to get sharp photos.
3. Use a long exposure. Aurora photography typically requires exposures of at least several seconds, so you’ll need to use a camera app that supports long exposures or use an iPhone case with an integrated shutter release button.
4. Boost the ISO. The higher the ISO setting, the more sensitive the camera will be to light, so you’ll need to experiment to find the right setting for your particular situation. Start with a relatively high ISO (e.g., 1600) and then lower it if the photo is too bright or noisy.
5. Frame your shot and compose carefully. The aurora can be quite dynamic, so take some time to experiment with different compositions before committing to a photo.
The Best Time and Place to See an Aurora
Aurora season is upon us and if you want to take some fantastic photos of the Northern Lights with your iPhone, now is the time to start planning. The best time to see an aurora is during the months of September, October, March and April when the nights are longest and there is less interference from daylight. The best place to see an aurora is as far north as possible, ideally in Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia or Russia.
If you can’t make it to one of those places, don’t worry — there are plenty of other great places to see an aurora. anywhere in the world where there is a clear view of the northern horizon should be good for aurora watching. Some of our favorite places include:
-Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
-Fort Collins, Colorado
– near Fairbanks, Alaska
How to Use Your iPhone to Take Aurora Photos
With the right settings, you can use your iPhone to take amazing aurora photos. Here are some tips to get the best results:
– Use a tripod or another form of stability. This will help prevent your images from being blurry.
– Set your focus point to infinity. This will ensure that your stars are sharp and in focus.
– Use a long exposure. This will capture more light and give your photo a dreamy quality.
– Take multiple photos. This way, you’ll have more to choose from when you edit them later.
The Best Apps for Aurora Photography
With the right apps and some practice, you can photography the Aurora Borealis with your iPhone. Here are some of the best apps for Aurora photography.
Tips for Taking Great Aurora Photos With Your iPhone
With the right planning and execution, you can take some stunning aurora photos with your iPhone. Here are some tips to help you get started:
-Pick the right location. In order to increase your chances of seeing the aurora, you need to be as far north as possible. The further north you are, the better your chances of seeing Aurora Borealis.
-Download an Aurora tracking app. By monitoring solar activity, these apps can give you up-to-date information on when and where the aurora is most likely to be visible.
-Check the weather forecast. Clear skies are essential for seeing the aurora, so make sure to check the forecast before heading out.
-Dress Warmly. Even if it’s summertime, temperatures can drop significantly at night in northern regions. Make sure to dress warmly in order to avoid getting cold while you’re waiting for the aurora to appear.
-Use a tripod . To avoid blurry photos, it’s important to use a tripod or some other form of stabilization when takingaurora photos with your iPhone .
-Enable Night Mode . One of the great things about taking photos with an iPhone is that it has a built-in Night Mode feature that helps improve low-light photography . To enable Night Mode, simply open up the Camera app and swipe over to the Night mode icon at the bottom (it looks like a moon).
-Adjust Exposure manually . Another great way to get better low-light photos is by manually adjusting exposure in the Camera app . Simply tap on the screen where you want to focus and a yellow box will appear with a sun icon next to it . Swipe up or down on this sun icon to adjust exposure . The lower you bring exposure ,the longer your shutter will stay open , which can help capture more light and result in a better photo .
The Best Gear for Aurora Photography
If you’re planning on taking photos of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights, you’ll need to plan ahead and be prepared. This natural light show is one of the most beautiful things you can see, but it’s also one of the most difficult to photograph. With a few tips and the right gear, you can take amazing photos of the aurora that will be cherished for years to come.
First and foremost, you need a DSLR camera with a fast lens. The best camera for aurora photography is the Sony a7sii, but any DSLR camera with a fast lens will work. You’ll also need a tripod to keep your camera still while you’re taking long exposures. A remote shutter release is also helpful to avoid shake.
For lenses, look for something with a wide aperture like f/2.8 or wider. A faster lens will let in more light, which is necessary for low-light photography like aurora photography. You’ll also want a lens that is at least 24mm in focal length; wider lenses capture more of the sky and are better for night photography in general.
Once you have your gear sorted out, it’s time to start planning your shoot. The best time to photograph the aurora is during an active geomagnetic storm, which usually happens about once per week. Check Space Weather Prediction Center for up-to-date information on geomagnetic activity.
When you know there is an active geomagnetic storm, head outside and find a dark location with an unobstructed view of the northern sky. The further north you are, the better; Alaska, Iceland, Canada, and Scandinavia are all great places to see (and photograph) the northern lights. Once you’re in position, set up your tripod and camera and start taking long exposures (30 seconds or longer). Experiment with different shutter speeds and aperture settings to find what works best; there is no “right” setting, so it’s all about personal preference.
And that’s it! With a little preparation and planning, you can take amazing photos of the Aurora Borealis that will be cherished for years to come.
FAQs About Aurora Photography
Q: What Camera Settings Should I Use to Photograph the Aurora?
A: First and foremost, you’ll need a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a fast wide-angle lens attached. Make sure you have a stable tripod to help keep your camera steady during long exposures. As for specific settings, start by setting your camera to manual mode (M on your dial) so that you can have full control over the exposure. Then, use the following settings as a starting point:
– ISO: 1600
– Aperture: f/2.8 or wider
– Shutter speed: 10-20 seconds