Norther Lights GoPro Iceland

Photo Guide: GoPro Northern Lights Photography & Settings

How to Photograph the Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis with a GoPro 4 or GoPro 5

Iceland must be one of the most perfect places for GoPro photography. Here you can really play along with the elements, rugged terrain and if you come in the winter: the Northern Lights! We have seen many of our guests create amazing GoPro Northern Lights time-lapse videos. Here we will share the settings and a few tips, so you can come prepared.


GoPro Northern Lights Settings and Shooting in Low Light

If you are comfortable with colour editing we suggest that you follow these settings. You will have to edit your video to bring back the colour and sharpness, but this will give you the best chance to capture in low light.

Use night lapse for shooting, and then play around with the Protune settings. You want to get enough light to the sensor without increasing the noise too much for your video.

Lock your shutter and ISO, set your colour to flat, wb to native and sharpness to low.  This is going to allow the sensor to collect the most information without the camera doing any processing to the video.

You will want the frame rate low so pick 24/25. With this setting, you will want a shutter speed of 1/24.

For ISO, start at 400 and keep increasing it until the picture is bright enough. The lower you can keep it, the better the final video will look.

For the resolution go with 4K if you can – but lower is also fine.


GoPro Hero 4

Beginner – try these settings and adjust the ISO to 400 and set a lower shutter speed if the image is too bright.

Mode: Night Lapse

  • Shutter – 30 sec
  • Interval – Continuous
  • MP – 12MP Wide
  • Spot Meter – OFF
  • Protune – ON
  • White Balance – 3000K
  • ISO Limit – 800
  • Sharpness – High


GoPro Hero 5 

Beginner  – try these settings and adjust the ISO to 400 and set a lower shutter speed if the image is too bright.

Mode: Night Lapse

  • Shutter = 30 sec
  • Interval = Auto
  • Colour: GoPro
  • White Balance = 3000 K
  • ISO Max = 800
  • Sharpness = High


Advanced settings – if you like being 100% in control of the editing process.

Mode: Night Lapse

  • Shutter = 5-10 sec
  • Interval = Auto
  • Colour: Flat
  • White Balance = native
  • ISO Max = 400
  • Sharpness = Low
  • Resolution = 4K
  • EV Comp = 0
  • Spot Meter = Press on the back LCD until the large box shrinks into a small box.  Move the box around until you get the brightest picture. It’s a little hard to do, but select the little down arrow and change adjust to lock.


Tips for Better GoPro Northern Lights Photography

  1. Shoot a lot

Remember that you’ll need to shoot at least a couple of hours of footage to create a time-lapse worth seeing.


  1. Battery must be fully charged

Make sure you’re prepared to have your camera sitting out there for some time and of course the battery fully charged. Bring extra batteries if you have.


  1. A tripod is a must

Without a tripod your footage will become way too blurry. So make sure to mount your GoPro to a tripod or a Gorillapod.


  1. Power saving tip

Turn off the WiFi setting and the display at the back. (Settings –> Touch Display –> Power = OFF).



We hope this guide to GoPro Northern Lights photgraphy is useful to you! Good luck and remember to enjoy the moment!



If you would like more information on how to capture the Northern lights with a GoPro please refer to this video: photographing aurora Iceland

Our Best tours for Photographing the Aurora

3 Day Ice Cave Tour

3 Day Ice Cave Tour

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights, Price: 945 USD

Glacier Lagoon and Ice Cave EXPRESS

Ice Cave Express Day Tour

Duration: 16 HRS. Price: 385,- USD