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  • DSLR (or a point-and-shoot camera switched to manual)
  • Tall tripod
  • Spare batteries — long exposures use lots of power!
  • Plastic bags to put over the equipment if it rains
  • Headlamp
  • Maps

  • Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
  • Lenses: Sigma 12-24mm and 14mm f/2.8, Canon EF15mm f/2.8 fisheye, EF16-35mm f/2.8, EF 24mm f/1.4 Ver2
  • Tripod: ballhead with quick release to change locations quickly
  • Remote timer for time-lapse videos
  • Battery charger
  • RED LEDs in headlamp or RED filter to maintain night vision

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  • Manual mode — cameras get confused in the dark!
  • RAW — allows for more control over your photos
  • Custom white balance — anything but auto!
  • Exposure: As short as possible
  • Aperture: Keep wide open on most lenses
  • ISO: Depends on your preference — high ISO will lead to noise, low ISO could blur

  • Custom white balance: 4500 to 5000 kelvin
  • Exposure: 15-30 seconds
  • ISO: between 600 and 1600, 3200 max, but he is willing to deal with noise
  • Aperture 1.8 or 2.0 to help with flaring
  • Shutter actuation (to make a time-lapse video): Lock the shutter button in the on position. The camera will continue to take photos until the memory card is full.

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Cloud cover and northern lights by cangeo
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Choosing a northern lights location by cangeo
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Using a fisheye lens to shoot the northern lights by cangeo
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Shooting northern lights with a point-and-shoot by cangeo
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Focusing in the dark by cangeo
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Why safety matters when shooting in the dark by cangeo

Infographic: Photographing the northern lights
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