The ‘Aurora Season Opener’ starts with the 30-minute transfer from the airport Oulu to the accommodation of Lapland Hotels Oulu. After check-in and dinner, we will head out for the sunset, which is around 20.40. Afterwards, we head into the night to look for the Aurora Borealis.
During these days we will visit several nature locations to photograph river rapids, lakes, seascapes, the island Hailuoto via ferry and more. We will also have a lecture on the aurora borealis and how to photography them. At night time we will of course chase the northern lights. As with all nature-related activities, the weather situation dictates when and which spots we visit. The goal is to provide you the best possibilities for great photos throughout the tour.
You will also have time to recover from the late nights or explore the area. For example you can visit the city center, the market square with its old buildings. Right next to the hotel is park Ainola, a beautiful area with many small streams and the salmon steps of Oulu river. If you want to head out to the open sea, choose the 4km walk to the beach Nallikari via the island Pikisaari and don’t forget your camera.
After breakfast this tour will unfortunately come to an end and we will have to pack our things to drive to Oulu airport.
All program is subject to the weather.
Oulu is located about 165km South of the Arctic Circle at the Bay of Bothnia, about 200,000 people live here. The city lies at the delta of the Oulu river. Temperatures in late August are on average about +10C (50F) and can drop down to 0C (32F) during the night.
Here is a list for the camera gear you might want to bring. Some of it is needed, some of it is optional. If you are unsure about anything, you can contact me during and after booking. We can then go through your current gear together and figure out if and what you might still need.
Important for night photography and long exposure photos. The tripod will minimize camera shaking. Handheld photos in darkness will not be sharp. To adjust settings comfortably, the tripod should be nearly your height.
Most suitable will be a dSLR or mirrorless camera where you can exchange lenses. Your camera needs to have the option of manual focus and a complete manual mode which allows you to adjust aperture, exposure time and ISO separately. Pocket cameras with a zoom might be ok in some cases, you can contact me for that when booking.
For night and aurora photography you should bring a fast lens (meaning wide aperture, with a small f-number like f/2.8 or better) to make the most of the available light. Lenses with f/4.0 are doing fine also but you might have to crank up the ISO. Auroras often stretch all across the sky. To capture a big part of it, you want to have a wide-angle lens (24mm or wider).
For daytime photography it is good to have a couple of lenses. A zoom (24-70mm, 24-120mm or the like) for diverse photo compositions. A lens like 50mm f/1.8 will be useful to emphasize details in snow or trees, leaving the horizon of the photo blurry.
Remote control (optional)
Use during night photography or long exposures. The remote allows you to take photos without touching the camera.
If you want to take photos of smooth water or moving clouds, you will need a neutral density filter. A polarizer can be used to create better contrast between white snow and blue sky. A graduaded ND filter will help to balance the light difference of ground and sky.
Head lamp / Flashlight
Will be important during the night. If you can get a head lamp with a red light option, it will be helpful.
If you tend to use the rear live-view camera display, batteries will discharge quite fast. It will be good to have at least two extra batteries with you.
To read more about aurora photography, check out my aurora guide ‘Fox Fires’, part 4.
Make sure you have the right clothing. With average temperatures of +5….0C at night, it is not cold but we are usually outdoors for hours.
Best is a woolen layer. For example, merino wool is excellent.
If your body tends to get cold easily, bring a middle layer. Fleece usually work well.
Top your layers off with a mid-season /autumn jacket and trousers, best for them will be windproof.
Shoes, socks and gloves
Trekking or hiking shoes will be most useful to navigate through nature. Woolen socks will be good with these shoes. For your hands it is best to bring a pair of gloves with you.
Head, face and ears
Make sure to properly protect your head and ears against the cool nights. A woolen beanie, ear flaps and a scarf will help to keep head and neck warm.
For hot juice, tea or coffee to keep you warm during our excursions.
To backup your photos from the camera and editing.
15% due within 14 days after registration
85% due latest 30 days before tour start
Cancellation and refunds
Up to 60 days before tour start: Full refund minus an administration fee of EUR 100.00
59-30 days before tour start: 85% refund of the entire trip’s cost
29-15 days before tour start: 50% refund of the entire trip’s cost
Less than 15 days before tour start: 5% refund of the entire trip’s cost