Capturing the Northern Lights with a D5100

Started Jan 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,224
Re: Capturing the Northern Lights with a D5100

I hjaven't done auroras but I have done the night sky and milky way.

From reading about auroras, I have gained the impression that they move about in the sky so a longish exposure will surely cause the effect to blur?

I've photographed the night sky quite successfully at 3200iso for 10 secs at around f6.3. I could get an image of the milky way with post processing and I venture that an aurora is brighter than the stars.

Raw is essential and set the camera to do long exposure noise reduction as well. You will find quite a lot of chromatic noise in the 3200 iso image so a good noise reduction software is necessary - LR has an excellent Chromatic noise reduction function.

I prefer higher iso with shorter exposures to reduce star trails.

One is under the impression that you need longish exposures but this is not the case - you will get better colour reproduction if the shot is slightly underexposed - remember that the D5100 sensor has excellent dynamic range and with raw post processing, you can recover a lot of detail from dark shots.

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