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The milky way core arches in a full panorama over a lone tree in Saskatchewan

Boundless – 2019

This photograph was taken in south/central Saskatchewan in May. Two nights before this photo, I agonized over whether to go out and chase the milky way. Clear skies were promised across the province, but, after losing the snow early in March, things were still very brown. Feeling uninspired, I looked into some possible locations, but couldn’t figure out where to even go with spring conditions as they were.

Two days later those same clear skies were predicted. I knew that I needed to get out and spend some time under the stars for my mental health. Needing to get out of my own head, I knew of only two things that make me feel insignificant: the night sky and supercell thunderstorms. So, I packed up, heading to a spot I had photographed earlier in the year. Knowing that, besides getting out under the night sky, there was a good chance of getting at least my May panorama of the galactic core in the bag. What I didn’t expect was just how many incredible trees there were in one little area. I spent some time exploring but came across this little scene almost immediately. After setting up my camera and star tracker, I spent a few therapeutic hours out under the stars.

As therapeutic as this shoot was, I have to add that it wasn’t all perfect. As is the case with many landscape photography outings, challenges arose. Because of colder temperatures, high humidity and clear skies, fog developed throughout the night. This obscured some of the detail in the milky way and caused the brighter stars to glow. Normally, I’m after maximum detail in the galactic core. But, after seeing the look that the fog gave the stars, I decided to embrace it as a part of this image.

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