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A high detail photo of the milky way over a tree in Grasslands National Park

Dwarfed – 2021

Due to different pandemic-related travel restrictions, my 2021 workshop to the dark sky preserve, Grasslands National Park, was cancelled. However, I couldn’t cancel all of my accommodations in time, so my wife and I took advantage of the now open weekend. We organized some last-minute childcare with her parents and took off to enjoy a “restful” long weekend away. That is to say: it could have been restful. But, for the first time in years, I was in one of the darkest places in Canada without a group to lead, and I could now create for myself. We spent our time hiking into some of the more geologically interesting places in Saskatchewan and staying up under the clear night sky for three nights.

Near our accommodations (The Crossing at Grasslands), there sits this tree on a hill. When we first arrived, I wondered if it might be possible to get a deepscape with the milky way behind. I knew I could get a portion of the galactic core behind it, but I wondered if I should go for a tighter frame and include the Cat’s Paw Nebula as it crested the horizon, or go a bit wider and create a scene like this one. I opted for the second approach and was glad I did. Not to belittle wide-angle scenes, but I find they don’t give justice to the enormous scale of the summer milky way. This photo, I feel anyways, does.

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