Playing Around


Went out last night after bowling because there was supposed to be Northern Lights.

It was also supposed to be a clear night, but after only about an hour in the country the clouds totally took over and I called it a night.

I knew the clouds were coming so didn’t really feel like driving around looking for something cool to put in my foreground, so at my go-to spot for looking at the sky I decided to just try some light painting.

It was a spur of the moment thing and I didn’t have anything to make light except my lighter, and being too windy to keep the flame lit had to flick it a bunch of times to make anything out of it. Got this one on my second attempt. Not spectacular or anything but still kinda neat. Will be carrying a small dim flashlight with me on future night outings to try some more intricate light painting.

Although I definitely consider myself still a novice at astro-photography, I am doing much more planning than I did last year to get myself ready for night photography season. Have a few locations picked out that I think are going to turn out amazing, and most are within 2 hours away. The main hindrance to photography where I live is that there’s no public land anywhere, and even the closest provincial parks to me are not suitable for night time photography.

I know some people might think that it’s crazy to go on a 2 hour (one way) drive just to try photographing the night sky when you have to go to work the next morning, but I’ve gotta do something to up my game a little. I also don’t want to go into Banff area even though it’s about the same distance as my locations, because I assume if there’s aurora forecast there’d be dozens (if not hundreds) of photographers who had that idea already and would be lined up on Lake Minnewanka like the paparazzi. I like to think I’m more original than that.

Last winter I pretty much only went out when there was supposed to be northen lights, and that meant a lot of time I was putting my energy into it even if the conditions weren’t ideal. I’d go out even if it was cloudy or the moon was out just to see the aurora, and because of this i’m sure I missed some of the best nights to watch the stars with a crisp clear light and no moon out. This winter I vow to put more effort into the night in general, and not just the Northern Lights. Hopefully this also helps me improve my skills at this most difficult form of photography.

Lance Edwards-Hampton


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