10 Favourite Places to Shoot the Northern Lights

I’ll admit it: the northern lights are intoxicating. For many years I’ve been drawn to cold, northerly destinations, both as a photographer and an adventurer. And beyond the desolate beauty and landscapes of these locations, whether it’s Greenland or Canada’s northern territories, it’s icing on the cake that they also provide us with the best opportunities to shoot the aurora borealis.

Here are my top 10 favourite locations around the globe to shoot the northern lights, in no particular order of preference:

1. Alaska

In a nutshell: Perfect latitude, fantastic scenery to pair up with lights. Cloud cover can be an issue.

When to go: October to March.

Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

2. Canadian Prairies

In a nutshell: Nice low horizon, easy access. You need a decent show.

When to go: Year-round.

Canadian Prairies. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

3. Canadian Rockies

In a nutshell: Some of the most incredible skylines to pair with lights. Great displays are rare. High horizons make it more challenging to shoot.

When to go: Year-round.

Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

→ Check out these Resources for Shooting the Canadian Rockies.

4. Greenland

In a nutshell: Zero light pollution, mind-blowing scenery. More difficult/expensive to access. Strong displays frequent.

When to go: September to April.

Greenland. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

→ You’ll also find my Aurora Watching Web Resources here.

5. Iceland

In a nutshell: Easier, cheaper access. Weather can be an issue. Good latitude, great landscapes. More people.

When to go: September to April.

Iceland. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

6. Labrador

In a nutshell: Super dark skies, very wild. Access can be difficult. Some incredible skylines.

When to go: September to April.

Torngat Mountains National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

7. Norway

In a nutshell: Good latitude. Stunning landscapes. Weather can be an issue.

When to go: September to April.

Norway. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

8. Nunavut

In a nutshell: Very little light pollution, incredible scenery. Lower temperatures to deal with. More difficult/expensive to access. Strong displays frequent.

When to go: September to April.

Nunavut. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

9. Northwest Territories

In a nutshell: Very little light pollution, low horizons, surprisingly great access. Strong displays very frequent.

When to go: September to April.

Join OFFBEAT in Yellowknife, September 2018, for our next Nights of Wonder workshop!

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

10. Yukon

In a nutshell: Very little light pollution, fairly easy/inexpensive access. Great latitude for aurora.

When to go: September to April.

Yukon. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

→ Check out my Aurora Watching Web Resources

10 Favourite Spots for Shooting the Northern Lights, by Paul Zizka Photography

4 Responses to “10 Favourite Places to Shoot the Northern Lights”

  1. Heide

    WOW! If you had captured any one of these images I would be impressed, Paul … but … wow. Your work is nothing short of breathtaking. Thank you for sharing it here.

    Reply

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