The Canadian Landscape Contest – Scott Dimond
This is one of three star trail images I created around Abraham Lake (Alberta) one night in mid-January. Of the three, this one is certainly the most surreal. I picked the date because Sun set (17:04) and Moon set (18:56) on this particular day happened relatively close to each other and the moon was only at 0.4% illumination. Astronomical twilight ended at 19:07. This allowed me to photograph and light paint the foreground during twilight without any moon light. I then did not have to wait very long for complete darkness to start shooting the stars. Using a compass and knowing the magnetic declination, I could estimate the location of Polaris in the sky as I scouted to find a suitable foreground. The only thing I could not plan for was the weather. In the end, the sky cleared just in time but it was very windy and cold. Getting to the icy location and securing my tripod included the use of crampons, a cordless drill, and lag bolts. I came prepared. This image was taken with a 17mm TS-E on an EOS 1Ds MIII, shifted low for the light painted foreground (with a green gel on a flashlight) and shifted high for the sky. The star trails were exposed over a four hour period. Total shooting time to capture this single image was 6 hours.