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01-14-2015, 02:13 PM   #1
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Northern lights in Yellowknife

So we booked a return flight to Yellowknife NWT for 3 days in early February.

I will bring my K3, DA* 16-50 & 60-250 along with a tripod and Flu card.

Any tips much appreciated.

I like to shoot Aperture Priority and also have the wireless remote.

Hope to post some pictures when we return.

Cheers and thanks in advance.

01-14-2015, 02:41 PM   #2
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Don't shoot aperture priority for the northern lights. Stay in manual, start @ iso 3200, 15 seconds exposure, f2.8 and adjust from there. A steady tripod is of course necessary and using the wireless remote is perfect. 16mm is also barely wide enough on aps-c, if you can get anything wider it could help. This picture was shot @ 16mm. A wider lens can help to include interesting foreground items in your pictures.

[IMG][/IMG]
01-14-2015, 05:05 PM   #3
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I live in Yellowknife, shoot pentax, and get moderately good results with auroras.

I don't remember the details of the attached photos, but they were shot in the city, with lots of light pollution. I am confident one can do much better outside of town. Will you be renting a vehicle? Borrowing skidoos?

Not to contradict the previous poster, but I think these were at iso 400 or 800, shot with a cheapie Rokinon fisheye, and I obviously didn't get any of the beautiful reds you see in the previous post (they weren't showing when I shot these...)

Maybe get a bunch of questions for me. I have lived here for over 10 years, and know some good spots/tips to make the most of it. Heck, I might even lend you some winter gear.
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01-14-2015, 05:09 PM   #4
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Mark,
Here's a astrophotography site i stumbled across:

How to Pick a Lens for Milky Way Photography – Lonely Speck

About 2/3 of the way down the article, they talk about the balance between clear aperture for higher quality signal to noise ratio vice violating the 500 rule for FF and 300 rule for APS sensors. The latter to avoid star trails. Not sure if you care about star trails or not, but it seems to me that longer duration exposures could also contribute to fuzziness of the image - is that a problem for Aurora borealis - i don't know.
There's also a table where they calculate the optimum lens parameters.

Between now and when you depart, you might be able to come up with an inexpensive but larger aperture manual lens that might be ideal for this type of shooting.

Warning - i have no experience with this type of shooting, but i've shot some star trails a few times. Did you find a good place to stay up there?? i'm sort of interested in this trip myself.

01-14-2015, 05:13 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention, here is a site which has Aurora forecasts:
Astronomy North | Northern Sky Education and Outreach
Remember, there may be clouds in the way of great auroras for part of the night. With only three days to visit, I think you will want to be up late. I hope you enjoy drinking
01-14-2015, 07:28 PM   #6
jac
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Here's a thread with a few tips from a few people.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/240105-how-use-...rn-lights.html
01-15-2015, 07:04 AM   #7
owl
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QuoteOriginally posted by Darren8306 Quote
I live in Yellowknife, shoot pentax, and get moderately good results with auroras.
...
Maybe get a bunch of questions for me. I have lived here for over 10 years, and know some good spots/tips to make the most of it. Heck, I might even lend you some winter gear.
And THAT is why this forum is awesome.
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