Vancouver photographer, how to capture the northern lights tonight


With news of another solar flare hitting the northern hemisphere, Vancouver is once again embroiled in the Northern Lights craze.

So much so that many teary eyed photographers stayed awake on Friday (October 29) all clamoring for a glimpse of nature’s most awe-inspiring light show. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm seemed a bit premature as current solar weather forecasts predict that the Northern Lights will be in effect on Saturday night.

Rob Lyons is a photographer and board member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Building on her experience of catching the aurora earlier this month, Lyons offered some advice on social media.

When should I look for?

“Current forecasts show the storm is expected to peak for us here in the Lower Mainland between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. with a few hours on each side, ”Lyons said, adding that it was difficult to predict anything beyond 30 to 40 minutes with precision.

However, there is this handy forecast that will provide constant updates for you to check.

Where should I look from?

“When it comes to seeing the lights, it’s best to get away from the light pollution, so get out of town if you can,” Lyons said. “The camera shows them more than what the naked eye sees, so if you’re not a [photographer], you should go to a dark place with a clear view to the north.

Normally, Lyon recommends going to Spanish Banks, Porteau Cove or Pitt Lake but with last night which brought so many sky watchers out of the woods, he recommends going further off the beaten track.

Lyons also recommended making it a night, bringing some food, hot chocolate, and going early before sunset.

But how do I get my Internet points?

“If you want to take a photo for the gram and collect your internet props, you’ll want to use the best camera you own and put it on a tripod. A quick goal like a 50mm f / 1.8 will help because it works better in low light conditions, ”says Lyons.

“Then you will have to make a long exposure, then use a remote shutter release or activate the shutter delay setting on your camera, a 2 second delay will do the job. This will prevent you from shaking the camera when taking your photo. Lights can be dim and slow or fast and blazing.

“For slow auroras you can shoot 15-30 seconds of exposure and get good results. If the lights are “dancing” in the sky, try a faster photo of 3-5 seconds or even faster. You can increase your ISO to help you get better exposure.


Comments are closed.