Capture the tail of green Fox

How to play: Photography

The author went to these places


Published on 2014-11-13 14:36

"The aurora that touches the soul, the Milky way on the ice lake and the erupting volcano in the distance are suffocating. I went to Iceland so many times to shoot and wait. Fortunately, I met the biggest sunspot eruption in 11 years. It bloomed over the Arctic and illuminated the night sky. The red light of the volcano reflected on the ice lake. This is the shock of nature! The ultimate sight

photo by Jolie Luo 2014.10

Catching the tail of the green Fox

In Finnish, Aurora Borealis means "revontulet.". Ancient Finns believed that there was a magic fox running in the snow. Its tail swept up the snow and reflected under the moon. The magic color reflected the beautiful aurora borealis

Looking for the aurora borealis is the theme I have been pursuing. I have been deep into the Arctic Circle for ten times, waiting in the sub zero cold, and long-distance searching in the dark. I have tried all my efforts, just waiting for a glimpse of her in the air.

Fortunately, all my efforts have not been in vain. I have also seen aurora in various places, at various levels and in various color forms. Every time I feel that this is my dialogue with the soul of the universe.

I ran back and forth with ice for many times, trying to leave a silhouette under the aurora volcano for myself.

On cloudy days, the aurora is reflected into the lake through thin clouds and blue ice.

The volcano in the distance, the fire in my hand.

Looking at the aurora of the Milky way

How to shoot Aurora?

First of all, we need to understand the formation of Aurora and its time.

Aurora is mainly due to the solar jet out of the plasma mass through the earth, the magnetic field of the north and south poles to attract, and then with the earth's atmosphere molecules produce chemical reaction and light.


1) Aurora peak

It's important to know when to shoot the aurora, especially when it's peak. The appearance of aurora is related to the degree of sunspot activity, and the sunspot activity period is generally 11 years.

2) Season

The best season to see the aurora is, of course, winter, because the north and south poles have the opportunity to have a long day or sunshine in summer. The light of the aurora is very weak, even if there is aurora in the daytime, it is difficult to see. So the best viewing season is from October to March.


Generally speaking, it is near the north and south polar circle. The more famous places to watch the aurora are Alaska, northern Canada, northern Norway, Finland, Lapland, Iceland, southern Greenland, Siberian coast of Russia, etc.

It also depends on the intensity of the aurora. In case of a major outbreak, it may be seen as far as the United Kingdom, the United States and even Hokkaido in Japan. Of course, if you travel in dark clouds, it will affect the viewing of the aurora.

How to shoot Aurora?

To put it simply, what you need to shoot aurora is a tripod, a camera with long exposure, and then a long wait and try, not afraid of wind and rain.

1) Selection of equipment

It is best to shoot Aurora with a wide-angle lens with a large aperture. It is better to shoot Aurora below 24mm, or 28mm. Of course, the price of large aperture lens below 24mm is quite considerable... Generally speaking, the focal length of 15mm to 28mm is very good. It's better to have an aperture of F / 2.8 or above. If the focal length is too long, it can only be taken locally. The aurora photos are better compared with the scenery or buildings.

2) Exposure value

There is no fixed setting for shooting aurora. Because the brightness of the aurora is constantly changing, and there is no fixed form of the aurora. Sometimes it flutters like a curtain blown by the wind, and sometimes it swims from right to right like a rainbow. Therefore, how to shoot and what effect you want depends on the brightness and moving speed at that time

But there are also the following ranges: when ISO 400, the aperture value is f / 2, and the exposure time is about 15 seconds. The exposure value in this range is about two levels before and after.

General information:

ISO 400 + f/2 +15s

ISO 800 + f/2.8 +15s

ISO 1600 + f/2.8 +8s

Aurora moving slowly, dark, or invisible to the naked eye:

ISO 400 + f/2 +30s

ISO 800 + f/2.8 +30s

ISO 1600 + f/2.8 +15s

When there is still a little light at dusk:

ISO 400 + f/2.8 +10s

ISO 800 + f/2.8 +5s

Of course, the higher the sensitivity (ISO), the greater the noise. This is a trade-off. If the aurora moves very slowly, you can use a longer exposure time. If you move at a high speed and want to capture its motion, you can only shorten the exposure time, that is, you need to increase the ISO sensitivity or use a larger aperture value.

On the way to find the northern lights, I didn't want to give up


On the last night in Lapland, we all fell asleep. I decided to go out for a walk with my tripod. With only one camera and spare lens, the light of the town is very bright. Walking all the way to the edge of the town, I suddenly find a green light in the sky. I run towards the aurora and set up a tripod where I can see it. Set up and climb up the snowdrift. The purple green aurora in the distance suddenly floats over my head and spins around. It's more and more intense. I feel that it's calling me.

That day, I put away the tripod and went back to the hotel to see the aurora burst out again. I was afraid that it would be too soon to open the tripod, so I put the camera on the ground, so I hurriedly compared with a y.

When a dream is completed very suddenly, someone asked me if I would be lost, in fact, I didn't! The completion of one dream indicates the beginning of the next, doesn't it?


Iceland, my distant, cold fairyland, I love her loneliness, love her explosive power, I want to feel her spring, summer, autumn, winter, Aurora

In the quiet moonlight, the seal comes out of the ice and the aurora floats in the starry sky.


We took a couple of new people to Finland. In order to take pictures of the aurora, we drove for several hours in the night and ordered a local bus to look for the aurora.


With the female tour group sisters, a group of people had no snow driving experience, no international driver's license, and some were still serious road maniacs. They rented a business car but didn't care to eat. They took a few bags of snacks, carried a case of beer and got on the car. Toward the Arctic Circle, with an all English GPS, we continue to search for the aurora borealis in ivaro, hundreds of kilometers away from rovallemi

Of course, there are many, many times, there are no Aurora night, there are no stars, there are only the cold wind and the loneliness of the Arctic circle.

Looking for the aurora borealis, this is originally a difficult road, only perseverance and faith can support my dream of a green aurora borealis.

Jolie Luo Xiaoyun: member of China Photographers Association, contract photographer of Getty Images, member of Royal Photography Association, CO photographer of Bing global home page, and founder of Huatu photography. It is highly praised by photographers all over the world for its photography works all over the world. He is good at documentary photography and scenery portrait, especially the photos recording himself in the picture.

Capture the tail of green Fox

Hongxia Sun