I have always been captured by the magic of night photography. I think it has something to do with childhood memories of stargazing with my father. So when the opportunity arose to learn about night photography during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, which is normally closed to the public, I couldn’t resist! The session began at ten o’clock at night and was lead by two professional photographers: Drew Desharnais Photography and Preserved Light Photography. With the help of our mentors it didn’t take me too long to figure out the basic techniques, and many of the other photographers there had night sky photography experience so I gleaned from them as well.
Night photography is such a different experience than daytime photography. It would take me several shots to compose my image and get the lighting the way I wanted. Shooting in the dark meant that I couldn’t really see what I was doing half the time and that was both entertaining and frustrating. Eventually when I was ready to move to another location I had to be careful not to walk into someone else’s camera frame or step on some sort critter. I also found it amusing to converse with complete strangers in the dark. Would we recognize each other if we met again in the daytime? I’m not sure. Eventually as the night waned on I wrapped myself in a blanket and watched the meteors streak across the sky. It was beautiful. At the end I concluded that night photography is more than just capturing the night sky, it’s an invitation to stillness and awe, one that I gladly accept.