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Night Photography over the Saskatchewan prairie. A full moon sets in Venus' Belt

Reaching Out – 2019

This landscape photograph was taken in central Saskatchewan and was a result of careful planning. Four months prior to the morning of this photo I had an idea for a photo. Often, I simply react to light or landscapes around me. But this time I had an idea for a photo that caused me draw a quick sketch of the concept. The sketch was of a treeline with a clean background, and a full moon setting (or rising) into the colourful bands of Earth’s shadow and Venus’ belt. 

The first step was to find the right tree-line. This tree line had to be perfectly straight, one row with a simple backdrop, go straight north/south (to be perfectly perpendicular to the moon and suns position in the sky), and be far enough away that I could use a long focal length to get a large moon behind. I drove the countryside for 100’s of kilometres to find the perfect one and could only find two that might work. This was one of those tree lines, and the more photogenic of the two.

Next was to plan the date and time for the shoot. This photo only lines up once or twice a year for merely 5 minutes at a time, I needed to be ready. It just so happened that the next date was two months in advance so I set-up an appointment with this tree-line in my calendar and prayed that there would be completely clear skies, the last factor of this photo. The morning came with clear skies and I got to my spot with lots of time to watch the moon slowly set while the sun rose behind me. I captured this single photograph as the moon descended into perfect position.  

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