Saskatchewan Milky Way, Canada by Scott Aspinall

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Picture Story

A couple of friends and I set out to explore a unique nature preserve in Saskatchewan this July. As storms hit the area the day before, the road that accesses the trailhead was a muddy mess, so we had to hike in the extra distance carrying our cameras and star trackers for astrophotography later. We made a couple of stops at different clay formations, admiring the unique geology before making our way to this scene. I found a composition at one of these spots that I wanted to photograph after dark and ended up leaving the tracker behind there. We arrived at this scene for sunset; I was hot, tired, tick-infested, and itchy, ready to hang out for a while.

As the conversation shifted to astrophotography, and I checked the milky way alignment in our location, I noticed the milky way aligned perfectly behind the tree in front of us. I groaned as I realized at that moment that I left my star tracker behind about one km away as the crow flies, possibly closer to 2km on the route I had to take. At the time, I thought that I'd save myself the 10 pounds on the way to the tree and that we'd be heading back there for astrophotography anyway. I was wrong apparently and decided I needed to get my tracker so I could take advantage of this composition. So I hiked back to my tracker, picked it up, and returned with enough time to take some blue hour photos of my foreground to make the blowing flowers sharper and easier to focus stack, photographing the milky way as darkness arrived.

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