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In the middle of June, I had the opportunity to visit Grasslands National Park – a dark sky preserve home to some of North America’s darkest skies. I had planned this trip months ago, but upon the arrival of Covid-19, things got weird. First, the park was open with restrictions. Soon though, Parks Canada completely closed access to the park. As there were a couple of folks joining me for my annual Night Photography Workshop, this threw a major wrench in our plans. The park operator called me a few days into May, assuring me that she felt things would be open for our trip, so I kept our plans intact. Sure enough, the park re-opened June 1, giving us two weeks to shore up plans for the 4-day, 3-night trip.
Our first night there resulted in high winds and cloudy skies, but the second and third night provided some clear skies for us to view the milky way in one of the darkest places in Canada. This year’s trip marked my 6th time to the park to photograph the night sky. Each time I’m amazed at the clarity of the night sky. I always try to take the time to become dark-adapted, encouraging my group to do the same; so we can enjoy the galactic center in all of its beauty.
This photo came on our third and final night. We hiked in a flat, wide valley with a few dead trees. We all spread out and found different compositions that worked with the milky way as it began to shine brightly after sunset.
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