Oh, the ethereal beauty of the Alaskan Northern Lights! Allow me to light up your photography skills with some tips on capturing these mesmerizing displays. Welcome to the world of stunning Alaskan Northern Lights photography!

Best Locations for Northern Lights Photography in Alaska

Best Locations in Alaska for Capturing the Aurora

Alaska is renowned for offering some of the best opportunities to witness and photograph the mesmerizing Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. To capture this celestial spectacle at its finest, certain locations across the state prove to be particularly ideal for photographers and aurora enthusiasts.


Located in the heart of Alaska, Fairbanks is one of the prime destinations for viewing the Northern Lights. With clear skies and minimal light pollution, Fairbanks provides optimal conditions for witnessing the aurora in its full glory. Popular spots such as Cleary Summit and Murphy Dome offer stunning panoramic views, making them excellent locations for capturing this natural wonder with your camera.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park, home to the tallest peak in North America, is another fantastic setting for experiencing the Northern Lights. The park’s vast wilderness and unpolluted skies create an ideal environment for photography enthusiasts. Imagine capturing the aurora dancing above the snow-covered peaks of the Alaska Range – a truly unforgettable sight for any photographer.

Chena Hot Springs

For a unique aurora photography experience, consider visiting Chena Hot Springs, located about an hour’s drive from Fairbanks. This resort not only offers relaxing thermal pools but also serves as an excellent location for viewing and photographing the Northern Lights. Immersing yourself in the warm waters while gazing at the captivating light display overhead is an experience like no other.

Arctic Circle

If you’re up for an adventure, consider venturing to the Arctic Circle for an unparalleled aurora photography expedition. While more remote and challenging to access, the Arctic Circle provides a surreal backdrop for capturing the Northern Lights. Imagine the glow of the aurora against the Arctic wilderness, creating a scene straight out of a fairytale.

Remember, when embarking on a Northern Lights photography excursion in Alaska, ensure you dress warmly, bring along a sturdy tripod for your camera, and pack extra batteries to capture this magical phenomenon. With the right preparation and a bit of luck with the weather, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning images of the Aurora Borealis in Alaska’s most picturesque locations.

Tips and Tricks for Photographing the Alaskan Northern Lights

Tips for Capturing the Beauty of the Alaskan Northern Lights

Photographing the Northern Lights in Alaska is a breathtaking experience that requires preparation and the right techniques to capture the beauty of this natural phenomenon.

Choosing the Right Gear

When embarking on a Northern Lights photography expedition in Alaska, it is essential to have the right gear. Here are some recommendations:

  • A sturdy tripod to keep your camera stable during long exposures.
  • A wide-angle lens with a fast aperture to capture as much of the sky as possible.
  • A camera with manual settings to have full control over exposure and focus.
  • Extra batteries and memory cards, as cold temperatures can drain batteries quickly.

Location Scouting

Scouting the perfect location is crucial for successful Northern Lights photography in Alaska. Consider the following tips:

  • Research dark sky areas away from light pollution for optimal viewing conditions.
  • Look for interesting foreground elements such as mountains, trees, or lakes to enhance your composition.
  • Check the weather forecast and aurora activity predictions to increase your chances of witnessing a strong display.

Camera Settings and Techniques

Mastering the right camera settings and techniques is key to capturing stunning photos of the Alaskan Northern Lights:

  • Use a high ISO (800-3200) to capture the faint light of the auroras.
  • Set your aperture to the widest possible to let in more light (f/2.8 or lower).
  • Experiment with different shutter speeds to avoid overexposure and capture movement in the auroras.
  • Focus manually on a distant light source or use the infinity focus setting for sharp images.

Patience and Experience

Photographing the Northern Lights in Alaska is not only about technical skills but also about patience and experience:

  • Be prepared to wait for hours for the right conditions and aurora activity.
  • Stay warm and comfortable to prolong your shooting sessions in cold Alaskan nights.
  • Experiment with different compositions and settings to develop your unique style over time.
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By Monica

Hello, I'm Monica, a 34-year-old English teacher. I have a passion for language and education, and I love helping my students improve their English skills. Join me in my classes and let's explore the world of English together!