No, Polar Bears do not walk in the streets all around Norway. No, we do not have penguins as pets. Yes, northern lights are visible outside Northern Norway and on a good day you may enjoy it all the way to the east!
After living most of my life about one hour south of Oslo I had never seen the Northern Lights before last year. It might have been ignorance, it might have been the lack of knowledge, but it took me over twenty years to realise that we do occasionally see miss Aurora Borealis dance on the sky in my area too.
might not be as dramatic as it is in areas such as the well known Lofoten, but on a night with high solar activity you can see the lady in green dance elegantly high above your head.
That being said, most days you won’t see a thing. Neither will you see much if you stand in the downtown and look up at the sky. No, to fully be able to enjoy the northern Lights, you need to get away from light pollution and ideally a place where there are no nearby lights.
Obviously the region of Buskerud is not famous for northern lights, and I doubt many tourists ever will know about it. Why would they know, when not even locals really know about it? Well now you know! Perhaps you get the chance to enjoy the northern lights on your next Norway visit too.
Now that you know it does occasionally occur in east of Norway too, I’ll give you a couple tips on how to see the northern lights and how to photograph it:
- View the forecast and hope for a clear night!
- View www.tv2.no/storm/nordlys and see if it’s predicted northern lights in the area you are. Note that this website is not always accurate, so I recommend viewing a couple more forecasts too.
- Get out of the city and towards a place without much light
- Make sure that you are facing towards north
- Look towards the horizon, as this is where it normally occurs. On a special night you might also see it above your head
- Use a tripod and shutter release
- Begin with a ISO at 1600 and a shutter speed of 15-30 seconds depending on the brightness outside
- Set your aperture to f2.8 or the widest your lens allows it to be
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