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April is a fantastic month for astrophotography in Saskatchewan. Orion sets in the west early in the night, Cygnus is just above the horizon by midnight, and the Rho Ophiuchi complex is just above the horizon in the early morning hours. I had three telephoto compositions lined up all winter with these sky regions aligned perfectly in the background. I spent the new moon period battling clouds but did manage to get this composition in the bag early in April. These types of telephoto shots take a surprising amount of planning. I had to know exactly where I needed to be standing at exactly the right time in order for this to align properly. So much planning in fact that the story is really boring. I got to location about 1:30AM with my lab to keep to me company. Put the tripod in the spot I knew would work out and setup my tracker. waited for Antares to get just in the right spot and then started firing away. Luckily aurora borealis was out so the next hour and a half was spent watching that to the north. Once my sky exposures finished up I waited until 4:30AM and the first signs of astronomical twilight, panned my camera back down to the trees and shot 12 exposures of the foreground with a little bit of ambient glow on the foreground to help keep noise out of my shadows.
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