Capturing the Northern Lights: A guide to photographing with a smartphone

Title: A Guide to Capturing and Editing Photos of the Northern Lights

I had the incredible opportunity to witness the mesmerizing northern lights on a special delivery flight of Singapore Airlines’ first 787-10 Dreamliner. As we flew over Alaska, passengers on the starboard side were treated to a magnificent display of the aurora borealis. Inspired by this experience, I embarked on a journey to Coldfoot, Alaska, to witness the northern lights from the ground.

Capturing photos of the northern lights can be a challenge due to their dim nature. Many photographers use extended exposure to capture vibrant images. While using a traditional camera requires a tripod for stability, modern smartphones like the iPhone 11 Pro Max can also capture stunning photos in low light conditions. With the right techniques, you can capture the magic of the aurora borealis with your smartphone.

Editing photos of the northern lights can enhance the beauty of your images. Adjustments such as exposure correction, highlight reduction, shadow enhancement, and vibrance boosting can make your photos stand out. Additionally, correcting the warmth and tint of the image can further enhance its appeal. Investing in the latest smartphone with advanced camera capabilities can help you achieve stunning results.

To find the northern lights, heading above the Arctic Circle in locations like Alaska and Scandinavia is ideal. Even destinations like Iceland and parts of the contiguous United States offer opportunities to witness the aurora borealis. In my experience in Wiseman, Alaska, I was able to witness the northern lights directly under the auroral oval, creating a spectacular display in the night sky.

While there is no guarantee of aurora activity, planning your visit during the optimal viewing period and using apps like My Aurora Forecast & Alerts can increase your chances of witnessing this natural phenomenon. With a bit of preparation and the right equipment, you can capture magical moments under the northern lights.

In conclusion, experiencing the northern lights is a rare and unforgettable experience. Whether you choose to capture them from a plane or on the ground, following these tips for photography and editing can help you create lasting memories of this awe-inspiring natural spectacle. Stay updated on the forecast for northern lights activity and consider planning a trip to witness this breathtaking phenomenon for yourself.

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