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How to Photograph the Northern Lights eBook

Text and photography by Patrick J. Endres

with aurora science notes by Neal Brown

200 pages | 100+ photos | 100+ illustrations

Price $19.99

No Ipad? Buy downloadable PDF

Click here for a preview and further details, screen shots and table of contents

How to Photograph the Northern Lights eBook

New Release! Now available on iTunes

2013 is declared to be the year to photograph the northern lights. This is due to the 11 year solar cycle reaching its maximum, making the release timing perfect. I’ve been working on the this eBook for a long time, and many people have been anxiously awaiting its release. I’m happy to say that it is now available on Itunes for viewing on the Ipad. I realize that not everyone has an Ipad, so I’m working on getting it available in other platforms. In the interim, you can purchase a .PDF.


This book is written for any photographer who plans on making an excursion to photograph the northern lights. It is extremely detailed and comprehensive, yet accessible to the beginner and the professional. Whether you take a guided photo tour or go on your own, the investment is huge. And this investment is too great for simply experimenting. You can’t afford to make mistakes—and there are many that can easily happen—trust me. I targeted this book to mitigate those potential mistakes. If you follow my advice—and the aurora shows up—you will have success.


I wrote this book because of the growing number of questions I received through my website and blog about photographing the aurora. Often those questions required a few questions from me, which required some degree of dialogue. The volume of inquiries became more than I could address to any degree of depth.


The insider information, or trade secrets on how to photograph the aurora used to be held very tightly by many professionals. The digital revolution has changed that to some degree. I’ve offered a small aurora photography tutorial on my blog for many years, but that is just a snippet compared to this eBook. As for the information in the eBook, as one colleague said, “you sold the farm”. I’ve tapped my two decade career of aurora photography and presented it so you can successfully capture your own photos of the aurora


Yes, I’m working on that now. It is currently on Itunes, but please contact me directly if you would like a copy now, and I can offer an alternative.


My current plans are to make this available in a print version, although no specific release date has been declared.

Aurora borealis photography ebook

eBook by Patrick J Endres

  • Danny Archibald - The book is awesome! I’m heading to Fairbanks next week and just found that you released it. Having read your articles here, it was nice to have the book as it was very detailed. As luck would have it, I have the same camera as you mentioned using so the settings and ISO limitations mentioned helped immensely. What really has me excited is the knowledge and insight you provided in regards to foreground in my landscape. I didn’t know why so many recommended scoping out a site in the daylight. Now I know why. Glad I won’t just have photos of the sky. Thank you Patrick.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - I just returned from Fairbanks, Alaska, my first trip to photograph the northern lights. I have been following your blog and emails for several months now and was excited to learn a couple of days before my trip that you had published the How to Photograph the Northern Lights eBook. I immediately purchased the book and read it on my airplane flight to Fairbanks. The chapters, “ Dealing With the Cold,” “Aurora Exposure,” “Choosing Cameras and Photo Gear,” and “In the Field” were great, but I found “Preparing Your Camera Gear” to be invaluable and reviewed it nightly as I prepared my camera for the capturing the lights that night. I was able to get some good pictures as a result of using your book.ReplyCancel

  • Terra - I am attending a Winter Skies workshop in Churchhill Northern Studies Centre the Feb 28-March 5th 2013 group. Your book has become our main reference for problem solving with the various cameras we are dealing with. Starman (Roger) our fearless leader sends his regards. You have made 18 people very happy.ReplyCancel

Gentoo penguins and mountain light, Antarctica. Canon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4L IS, (105mm) 1/320 sec @ f/9, ISO 320

Warm evening light bathed this distinctive mountain ridge near Booth Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. Two gentoo penguins are standing on the rocks in the foreground, showing the drastic contrast of size and the unique habitat in which these birds live. The mountains had been in flat light until the clouds along the western horizon opened up, spilling in enough light to give some drama. It as a short span of time, and like in many landscape images, timing is critical. Why this image is particularly interesting to me is that it is the first one I’ve processed in Lightroom on my new 27in IMac – and so far – I’m really liking it.

The Icebreaker Ortelius anchored off Booth Island, Antarctica. Canon 5D Mark III, 100-400mm f/5.6L (150mm), 1/160 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 800

This was home for a few weeks while venturing the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Peninsula. The M/V Ortelius was built in Poland in 1989 and it was designed for polar expeditions. I took this photo at 11:10 p.m., and it shows the scale of the environment of Antarctica, with the 302 foot ship situated among the icebergs.

Cruising through ice in Antarctica. Canon 5D Mark III, 16-35mm f/2.8L (25mm), 0.5 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 100

While cruising through the ice late one evening in Antarctica, I tried to communicate a sense of movement in this image, as the viewing experience of watching pans of ice separate before the ice breaker’s bow was both mesmerizing and other-worldly. I used a 16-35mm lens and experimented with many shutter speeds. While the horizon in the picture is not razor sharp, the softness is acceptable to me given the sense of motion.

  • Emlyn - Hi Patrick
    Great image and just as we remember in 2010. Would loved to have gone again. All the best Emlyn HorneReplyCancel

  • Ron Richins - Well done. A very cool and unique idea–a new take on icy regions. Never seen anything like it, not even from those who frequent such areas such as Art Wolfe.ReplyCancel

Danco Island sunset, Antarctica. Canon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4L IS, 1/250 @ f/11, ISO 100.

I took this photo from the top of Danco island, of a small island on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, at approximately 9:45 p.m. Like Alaska in the summer time, Antarctica enjoys a lot of daylight. I did not visit this location on my last excursion to Antarctica, but when looking at this scene, in conjunction with the time of night, location of the sun, you can envision a whole lot of landscape opportunities in a future visit. Besides the obvious beautiful and other-worldly scene itself, the clouds are a key component of interest in this picture. I can fast forward an hour or so in my mind and imagine some pink light flooding the overhead sky. Maybe on the next trip.

  • stock photography - it was beautiful, the super wide angle lens really helped in this case.ReplyCancel

  • Patrick Endres - Ron, I remember that one from the slide show. I liked it too!ReplyCancel

  • Ron Niebrugge - Thanks Mark! We had a great trip – it was nice the weather cooperated.

    My version has a lot less sky – it is interesting to see our different visions for the same scene – I’ll have to adjust and post mine. Actually my favorite version from here has you and Hugh in the foreground taking photos.ReplyCancel

  • Mark Van Bergh - Patrick,

    You’re killing me. :-)

    I also recently looked at Ron’s blog and some of his posts and photos from the trip. Looks like I did miss a good one. Also interesting to see his take on the area vs. yours.ReplyCancel

  • Patrick Endres - Ron,
    I’m so glad we trekked up that hill. Tough to shoot the golden hour at that time of year! I’ll be looking for your version.ReplyCancel

  • Ron Niebrugge - I remember this wonderful night very well! It is fun to see what you came away with – you included a lot more of the great clouds then I did and I like it a lot!ReplyCancel