Like most events, capturing quality photographs can also help preserve your magical experience of the Northern Lights forever. A Northern Lights photo tour aids you to chase the dancing Northern Lights and capture the enchanted memories for many years to come.
The tour we have designed allows you not only to witness the magical Northern Lights but also capture it with the guidance of our pro-photographer. These professional photographers apart from recommending you the viewpoints also advise on the settings and angles of your camera. So, our photo tour gives you an ultimate opportunity as a photographer in shooting the Northern Lights.
About the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that has not only baffled the scientists and poets but also the layman. Records say that this natural phenomenon which is one of the most spectacular natural displays on the planet dates back to more than 2000 years.
The overall sight of this Aurora Borealis is similar to any colorful, textured sunset that keeps swirling and vibrating across a clear and starry sky. It has a green hue that will leave you mesmerized. Amidst this, if you get to see a few faint outlines of mountains on the horizon and a howling wolf or a hooting owl that will enhance the overall ambiance.
This Aurora Borealis can come up anytime, right after sunset or even later at night. We, with our experience and the usage of every available option, try to best predict when the display might take place. But remember, it is normally a wait-and-watch game, so be patient.
The Tour Itinerary
Your guide will pick you up from your lodgings in the Reykjavik area or South Iceland and take you out on a nocturnal tour on a clear winter night riding in a comfortable 4×4 truck to witness the magical lights dancing across the dark sky over the snowy peaks.
In the location, you will get photo guidance from our professional photographer and will be provided with safety gear like crampons if needed. He or she will also provide information so that you get a good understanding of the scientific reason behind the Aurora Borealis. After this quick orientation, you can head out to search for the Northern Lights in some of the beautiful locations in South or West Iceland. You need to bring warm clothes, a flashlight or headlight, a fully charged camera with sufficient memory, and a sturdy tripod.
Normally this is a 4 hours tour starting right from the pick-up time. The best possibility to witness the Northern Lights is between 8 pm and 3 am in the early morning. Normally, you would be back to your lodging place by 1 am but at times it can be later. While glancing at the sky, you can enjoy some barbecue snacks, hot drinks and hear tales of the lights from our professional guide.
We plan the location in advance where the conditions would be the best in terms of the cloud coverage and have some interesting landscape and foreground, like Thingvellir national park in the backdrop. We drive you to different locations to view the northern lights so that it would add some variety to the photographs.
Here, one thing that you need to note is, if the weather forecast is not favorable for the Northern Lights, you will be contacted around 6 pm that very day when the tour was planned and we can reschedule it for some other day.
So, whether you intend to simply enjoy viewing the Aurora Borealis or learn how to photograph it at its best, our tour would work perfectly for you.
English Speaking Northern Lights Guide & Expert
Northern Lights hunt
Experienced Photographer & photo guidance on location
Comfortable ride in a 4×4 truck.
Pick up and drop off in Reykjavik or South Iceland
Every night is different when it comes to the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights Experts will find the best locations each night to watch the northern lights.
What to bring
Warm clothes – it gets cold during the night.
Camera (fully charged)
Flashlight or headlight
Enough memory cardsamera
Tripod – can be rented
Good to know
- If you don’t have an tripod, you can rent one for the tour. Send us an email for more info.
- You will have plenty of time to take some photographs and you can count on assistance from your guide setting up your camera.
- Pick up is from Reykjavík or South Iceland.
- You can bring some favorite snacks and beverages if you like.
Please note that the duration of the tour is normally 4 hours but can vary in length depending on weather conditions on the evening.
Most frequent questions and answers
You will write down your pick up location and we will pick you up.
Yes, you can get a pick up in South Iceland. Please contact us with the address in advance.
We will help you reschedule for another night or you will receive a full refund if the tour gets cancelled due to weather.
We will charge a cancellation fee of 10% if booking is cancelled 2 days or less before event
Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks on the tour.
This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips. This tour is listed as easy so if you do not feel uncomfortable with sitting in for the drive, this tour should be ideal for you.
Our Photo guides will help you with everything and show you how to capture the northern lights on a photo.
If you want to be prepared, you can check out this article:
Unfortunately, there isn’t just one simple answer to this question.
There isn’t just one single setting for your camera that ensures great photos. But if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.
A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.
Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.
If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in a slight star movement.
Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length
We will let you know as soon as possible if the Northern Lights wont be visible on the evening of your tour and we do not go on the tour.
The Northern Lights season is from late August until mid-April. However, if you want to increase your chances of seeing them, it is best to wait until the clear winter months of mid-September until March.
If luck and weather are on your side, you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis from Reykjavik. However, the light pollution in Reykjavik will make the northern lights less visible so we always recommend that you travel out of the city to get the best views.
Whether you can see the lights or not depend on two different factors.
1 – Weather – if the sky is clear, no clouds, then you are halfway there to seeing the spectacular Northern Lights.
2 – Increased solar activity
If these two merge together you may well be able to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik
You can read more about watching the northern lights in Reykjavik in this post.
No, it’s not necessary but it will increase your chances of getting the best view of the lights.
It can be hard to find where the northern lights are most likely to show up. The northern lights experts that will take you on the tours have years of experience when it comes to this. They will take you to the location where you are most likely to get the best possible view of the northern lights each night.