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Shooting aurora, questions
http://forum.timescapes.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=13128
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Author:  XL2 [ Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Shooting aurora, questions

Hey guys, I'm planning a trip to Alaska, and I'd like do some aurora time-lapse there.
I've never been to a such cold place before, so may I ask how do you guys keep your cameras warm so that it can work longer(and also,how to keep yourselves warm)? What kind of gears and equipment do you use in order to do it? And any other tips or suggestions? Thanks!

Author:  DerekMellott [ Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

I live in northern Alberta, it is currently -33c with the windchill. I have never had an issue with my Canons in the cold however the lens can frost up if its humid enough, You may want to use hand warmers or a commercial lens warmer to stop that. As for keeping you warm dress in layers and worry the most about your hands and feet, that's what usually ends my nights. your best bet is to find somewhere that you can set up and start shooting and then scurry back to your nice warm vehicle, just be aware of the vehicles lights.

Author:  Alan_n [ Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

Jumping on this thread for more info, thinking about exposure times? As a rough starting guide what do people suggest?

Author:  DerekMellott [ Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

Like anything it depends on how fast they are moving. You will need to test it out when it's happening, however I wouldn't go over 10 seconds, I usually shoot 5-8 seconds, wide open, iso 800-1600 depending on conditions. One time the aurora was flickering so fast I did 1/2sec exposures at max iso.

Author:  TIMETRAVELER [ Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

acclimate your gear. don't pull it out of a warm car and start shooting

Author:  XL2 [ Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

DerekMellott wrote:
I live in northern Alberta, it is currently -33c with the windchill. I have never had an issue with my Canons in the cold however the lens can frost up if its humid enough, You may want to use hand warmers or a commercial lens warmer to stop that. As for keeping you warm dress in layers and worry the most about your hands and feet, that's what usually ends my nights. your best bet is to find somewhere that you can set up and start shooting and then scurry back to your nice warm vehicle, just be aware of the vehicles lights.


Thanks Derek, so how about the batteries? Seems like they go off very quickly in such cold place?

Author:  XL2 [ Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

TIMETRAVELER wrote:
acclimate your gear. don't pull it out of a warm car and start shooting

That's a useful one, thanks

Author:  XL2 [ Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

Alan_n wrote:
Jumping on this thread for more info, thinking about exposure times? As a rough starting guide what do people suggest?


As Derek says, things change, no specific settings should you memorize. It's probably similar to that of shooting stars or galaxy, perhaps less exposure time, I guess, try several times and adjust it, that's what I'll do :lol:

Author:  DerekMellott [ Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

XL2 wrote:
DerekMellott wrote:
I live in northern Alberta, it is currently -33c with the windchill. I have never had an issue with my Canons in the cold however the lens can frost up if its humid enough, You may want to use hand warmers or a commercial lens warmer to stop that. As for keeping you warm dress in layers and worry the most about your hands and feet, that's what usually ends my nights. your best bet is to find somewhere that you can set up and start shooting and then scurry back to your nice warm vehicle, just be aware of the vehicles lights.


Thanks Derek, so how about the batteries? Seems like they go off very quickly in such cold place?


I use a battery grip on my 6D and have never had a problem, some times I even use a car booster to power the camera, that thing would last a month and the temperature never touches it, I only use that when I'm using a star tracker too and I use it to power everything. one other idea is buy a bunch of cheap batteries off of ebay and have them warm in your pockets ready to go.

Author:  XL2 [ Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shooting aurora, questions

DerekMellott wrote:
I use a battery grip on my 6D and have never had a problem, some times I even use a car booster to power the camera, that thing would last a month and the temperature never touches it, I only use that when I'm using a star tracker too and I use it to power everything. one other idea is buy a bunch of cheap batteries off of ebay and have them warm in your pockets ready to go.


Thank you so much Derek, it's really helpful! I might get some cheap batteries from ebay haha

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