Recently, I was honoured to speak at the 8th Vancouver International Photography Festival. VIPF is a one-day annual event where photographers from around the world come together to learn about various aspects of the craft. Held at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, the festival included speakers with specialized knowledge in photography, an exhibition of award-winning photos, and vendor booths.
Among the five speakers, I was covering one of my favourite topics of photography: astrophotography. My seminar taught how to capture starry night skies, the Milky Way, and the Northern Lights in photos.
I’ve always been fascinated by the night sky. In fact, it’s thanks to the night sky that I started photography. Five years ago, I went to the Northwest Territories to see the phenomenon known as aurora borealis. I immersed myself in books and online sources for many weeks prior, and then brought a DSLR camera to take photos in the dark. I managed to see the lights for maybe half an hour, but clouds rolled in quickly. Since then, I’ve learned a lot through hunting and shooting magical things in night sky.
The room was at capacity and it was a friendly audience. I spoke about how to evaluate potential locations for night sky photography, how to research if optimal conditions are present, what equipment you need to shoot in the dark, how to calculate and adjust your settings. I also offered practical tips learned from spending many nights under the beautiful night sky.
A big part of astrophotography is the processing it takes to bring the final photo to life. I demonstrated my new Lightroom presets for editing photos of starry night skies, the Milky Way, and the Northern Lights. Drag the circle below to see the before and after of one of my photos transformed using one of my presets.
My Lightroom presets are available for sale on my website. This is a package of 25 presets that helps to save you time so you can get back to shooting more under the night skies.
If you missed the seminar or are interested in learning more, don’t fret! I lead an annual night sky photography workshop and cover these topics and more. Contact for more details.
Until then, happy shooting!