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photography in Yellowknife

Atlantic City, New...
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photography in Yellowknife

We wonder how to avoid condensation or moisture in camera when moving from cold to warm environement after photographing Aurora at night?

would Nikon D3200 would be able to take photo of Aurora? What is the setting for the camera

Thanks for any suggestion

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: photography in Yellowknife

The classic answer to the first question is to carry a really large Ziploc bag. While still outside, put the camera inside the bag and seal it shut. When you get inside, wait for the camera to warm up to near room temperature before opening the bag. That way, the camera isn't exposed to the more humid indoor air until it's at a temperature where condensation won't happen.

Not sure about the second question, though I can't see why not.

Edmonton, Canada
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for Edmonton, Yellowknife
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2. Re: photography in Yellowknife

I haven't been successful, though I haven't put alot of effort into it, but here is a very extensive article on the northern lights, it's for Alaska, but TONS of information there, including photography help:

alaskaphotographyblog.com/how-to-photograph-…

Boise, Idaho
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3. Re: photography in Yellowknife

When I go out photographing in the serious cold I have the camera in a pretty roomy Lowepro padded case. Before going out I put in and open a few handwarmer packs to generate some heat in the case. I also have at least one clean, cotton handkerchief in the case.

I have an extra battery in my pocket in case the camera gets too cold in use and conks out. I try to minimize the chances of that by having the camera pretty ready in advance, with quick release plate on. On my Nikon D90 I mostly use an old Sigma 24mm f2.8 lens for the aurora. I select the lens and put it on before going out. If activity is good, usually good setting is 15 seconds, f3.2, daylight white balance pre-set, ISO 640. Increasing the ISO much more increases noise, and increasing the exposure time star trails increase, and the changing aurora looks more smudgy and blob-like. BTW, I suggest leaving the cover off of the spare battery, as it can be tough to remove when your hands are gloved or cold. I use two layers of glove liners with handwarmer pack in between. Even so, I have to keep my hands mostly in my parkas handwarmer pockets. With the lens I use, I can manually dial it to infinity. With zooms focus can be tricky. (You will probably use your 18-55mm at 18mm and f3.5.) You may need to find a bright object distant street light to lock on focus and then switch to manual. Don't change the zoom, because that can shift the focus. If you have a car, you could try pointing headlights at a distant object to get something to focus on.

Anyway, after shooting I usually avoid opening the bag for a few hours indoors. Internal condensation usually does not form, but sometimes it does. Bring along some silica gel packs and sandwich bags just in case you do have to thoroughly dry out the lens.

Roy's Audio and Video in YK Center is the best serious camera store in Yellowknife. If anyone in Yellowknife has what you need, it is probably they, but of course it is likely to be less than a good store back in a larger city.

Although not related to the aurora, I have found sometimes a good item to carry is an extra toothbrush. It can be used to make some signs with raised letters easier to read by cleaning out the snow. Here is an example of my not having a toothbrush with me and wishing I did:

martingrumet.com/canada06jan08-09yellowknife…

Edited: 08 February 2013, 19:10
Los Angeles
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4. Re: photography in Yellowknife

We asked the same question ourselves before our trip in January. Our solution was to bring lots of silica gel packets (the little packets that are inside suitcases). They are supposed to absorb and hold water vapor, so we went through our home and found as many we could, and put them all inside the carrying case of our DSLR. (and we put one inside the point and shoot carrying case). With luck, we didn't have any problems.

As for the camera, I was able to take pictures of the aurora with my Canon elph, which is a point-and-shoot. It didn't look as good as taking it with our Canon 40D with wide aperture lens, but it worked, so I'm pretty sure your D3200 will do fine. Just remember to bring a tripod with you as you will need to have your camera shutter to be open for a extended period for the exposure.

Atlantic City, New...
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5. Re: photography in Yellowknife

Thanks so much for your advice!

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: photography in Yellowknife

It is my understanding that there will be a lot of going indoors and out again during aurora viewing. That being the case, should I keep putting my camera in the Ziploc bag and take it out again every time? Please advise.

Yellowknife, Canada
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7. Re: photography in Yellowknife

I have taught photography in the North since the early 1980s....The only safeguard you need to take is to NOT turn your camera on (when its brought back inside to the warm) until it is room temperature again. The only problem with the condensation is that it might short circuit the electronics unless you wait for it to dry out.

Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: photography in Yellowknife

Thank you for your advice. Much appreciated.

9. Re: photography in Yellowknife

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