Sunday Musings: The Northern Lights In Yorkshire!


That Time I Saw The Northern Lights in Yorkshire!

Whenever I’ve imagined seeing the Northern Lights I can’t honestly say I would see them in Yorkshire!

Norway, Iceland, Finland, even Scotland, but never in my dreams Yorkshire!

Imagine my surprise then, when having a final browse of Facebook before I retired to bed a week os so back, noticing a couple of people discussing photographing the Aurora over on the nearby ‘tops’ (the ‘Tops’ being the high moor ground in this part of North Yorkshire).

Chris was out watching a movie with a friend and I had to wait impatiently for him to come back. As soon as they pulled in we quickly gathered together warm clothing and cameras, as set off with huge anticipation.

It was a remarkably clear sky: perfect weather for aurora watching!
Tweet Northern Lights in Yorhshire
We knew we were in the right place when a few people were stood on the hill side in the darkness, camera tripods glinting momentarily in the truck headlights.

Chris parked up and we ventured out onto the ancient limestone pavement at Winskill, above Langcliff.

But the lights were nowhere to be seen.

This didn’t deter us though, we have friends who do a bit of this Aurora photography and they’ve said it’s not always visible with the naked eye!

I used my bag as a makeshift tripod camera rest and set a reasonably long exposure….

and there they were, the northern lights showing green across the horizon on the back screen of my camera!

If you are interested in all the geeky camera settings I used then read on!

I have a Fuji X–T1 mirrorless camera, I didn’t have a tripod so I rested the camera on my bag. To prevent camera shake I used the 2 second timer function as I don’t have a remote shutter release.

I set my camera to aperture priority and set the ISO to a high 2500 and under-exposed by a full stop ( -1).

The lens I had on the camera was the 18-55 mm zoom and I used it at its widest focal length (18 mm) to get as much of the landscape in shot.

The aperture was f4 and focus was switched to manual and set on infinity ( ∞ ).

I let the camera decide the shutter speed, which ended up being around 10 to 15 seconds for each shot (at f4, if I’d used a smaller aperture these times would have been significantly longer.)

I haven’t used this camera much for night photography so I wasn’t sure how it behaved at high ISOs. At 2500 the noise, or lack of, was pretty impressive and I was able to smooth out what there was in Lightroom later.

I have tweaked the contrast in Lightroom and boosted the brightness of the Lights a bit to make the photos more punchy.

I always shoot in RAW.

This is what the image looked like before I edited it in Lightroom:


Ah, the magic trickery of photo editing!

Northern Lights in YorkshireI hope you’ve enjoyed this second installment of Sunday Musings!

Pin it for later:

Seeing the Northern Lights in Yorkshire // Aurora Borealis // England

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Have You Seen the Northern Lights?

By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

2 Responses

  1. We’ve just moved to settle in Northern Yorkshire and we’re excited to read that northern lights can be seen at this lattitude too ! We’ve already seen them in Finland, Norway and Iceland, waiting for the English ones 😉
    ps : are you based in the area ?
    Xavier & Lera

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Settle! Wow! I’m not based here but my fella is from Settle! I live nomadic but often up here.
      Glad to see you’ve seen them in Finland, and t’other places, that’s great. I have to say though, that in Yorkshire they are not really visible to the naked eye.
      Welcome to Yorkshire!