Photographer Captures Stunning Shots of Northern Lights in Real-Time

Wow. Just wow. Last night’s northern lights over Sweden were some of the most beautiful auroras I’ve seen. Such activity and fast-moving corona are not that common, so I’m glad I stayed up all night waiting.

I made the 3.5-minute video above last night, and it shows the northern lights in real-time. As you can see in a couple of the clips, the activity in the corona is really fast, it looks so surreal seeing something like this in reality.

All the conditions were perfect. There was almost no wind and the temperature was just a few degrees below zero. The moonlight maybe was a bit too strong, but it helped out lighting up the landscape in a nice way.

A Nighttime Trip to Shoot the Aurora

I went out around 7:30 pm together with my family and some friends to my kids. We had a really great time together watching the first arrival of the solar wind.

It started out quite good but after an hour or so it went quiet so everyone but me went back home. I decided to wait and see if the promising forecast would deliver something more spectacular.

While waiting for the solar wind to strike again I scouted for an interesting location and ended up in the city ski slope in Östersund. I found that the lights were turned off so I took the opportunity to get a good view overlooking the city.

I also got the time to enjoy the view of a very colorful and beautiful lunar corona, and I could also see a faint lunar halo for a short period of time, so there were a lot of things going on this night.

A Night to Remember

In the end, this turned out to be a night to remember with one of the most amazing northern lights I’ve seen. It’s nights like these that keep us astrophotographers going out at night waiting and waiting for that perfect moment.

A still frame showing me pointing my camera upward at the northern lights.
A “small world” image created with a photo shot last night.

The camera gear I used for filming the aurora in real-time and for shooting still photos included the Nikon Z6 II with the Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S, the Nikon Z9 with the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct, and a Leofoto LM-323C tripod with the NB-40 ballhead.

There are promising forecasts for aurora viewing and shooting in the coming days, so check your local reports and keep an eye on the sky to the north if you are in a part of the world that can see the northern (or southern) lights.

This time of the year, around the spring equinox, is usually really good for experiencing the northern lights, so fingers crossed for more nights like last night!

About the author: Göran Strand is a professional photographer from Östersund, Sweden, with a passion for astronomy. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Strand’s work on his website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This article was also published here.