Thursday, 28 March 2013

Its official - spring has sprung!!!

Trumpeter Swans 

It's official - spring has finally returned the Yukon! 

Last weekend 42 trumpeter swans arrived at Marsh Lake (south of Whitehorse).  Their spring migration has begun.  Think it's time to dust off the camera, clean sensors, empty memory cards, check gear and head down to Marsh Lake....

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.


Friday, 22 March 2013

An evening with Pan-STARRS

Pan-STARRS sailing through the night sky
near Pelly Crossing, Yukon

Comet Pan-STARRS continues to quietly sail across the evening sky as she makes her way to the far reaches of our solar system.  Last night, the sky over Pelly was crisp and clear; ideal for an intimate photo shoot with this month's celestial treat. 
I spent close to an hour photographing Pan-STARRS against a foreground of black spruce and birch trees.  The temperature had started to drop and a slight breeze signalled it was time to return home.  As luck would have it, Betsy, the car I borrowed from a friend, wouldn't start.  Thankfully a group of guys from Fort McPherson, NWT, drove by offered to bring me back to Pelly.   They were on their way to Whitehorse to participate in this weekend's Native Hockey Tournament.  Thanks guys!  It would have been a very long and chilly night otherwise.  

The local RCMP and I returned to the car this morning, gave Betsy a boost and drove her home.  Lesson learned - always carry a sleeping bag, emergency food, a candle and warm clothing.

Last night's images were taken with the Nikon D800 and Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens.  Camera was set to ISO800, f/3.5 and 5 sec exposure.  Images were taken between 10:15 to 11:00 pm.

The days are certainly getting longer in the north.  Now, if only the temperatures would warm up.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Comet Pan-STARRS

Comet Pan-STARRS as seen near Pelly Crossing 

Comet Pan-STARRS continues to dazzle those who take the time to observe the early evening sky.  Tonight, aproximately an hour after the sun sets, scan the western horizon with a pair of binoculars.  If you're lucky you'll spot a tiny fuzzy object sporting a fanning tail.  Pan-STARRS is expected to showcase its beauty for the next few weeks before it becomes too distant to observe with the naked eye.  We won't see this particular comet for another million years or so!

Last night's image was taken with a Nikon D800, ISO set at 800 at an 8sec exposure.  A 300mm f/2.8 lens set at f/3.5 was attached.

More information, sky maps and images of Pan-STARRS can be found on and on

Tonight's sky promises to be clear again!!

Good luck with your viewing of Pan-STARRS.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

My first glimpse of Comet Pan-STARRS

Comet Pan-STARRS
near Pelly Crossing, Yukon 

A quick hello - at long last I caught my first glimpse of Comet Pan-STARRS an hour or so ago - very faint, but much more pronounced with binoculars. 

I spotted the comet at 1030pm while scanning the western sky with binoc's (look a few degrees above the horizon directly above where the sun set).  Tonight the sun set at 8:15pm (hard to believe) with darkness approaching the western sky an hour or so later.

I'm thrilled to have seen this comet as it had eluded me in Ottawa and during my first few days back North.  My mistake was that I was looking far too early - apparently 45mins to 1hr after sunset is ideal.  More and more viewers across the northern hemisphere are beginning to see the comet with the naked eye.  In the coming days the comet will appear higher in the 
evening sky which will make it an easier target for the untrained eye.  

Tonight's shot is very basic - I'm sure there will be plenty more nights in the coming weeks to fine tune my comet photography skills - so neat!!

Hope you have an opportunity to see it.

Good night,

Photo Info:  Nikon D800 camera with Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens attached.  Mounted on tripod, 8 sec exp, 1000ISO, f /3.5

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Rough Guide to Canada (8th ed.)

Here's a pitch for the upcoming Rough Guide to Canada (8th edition) due to be released in late May.

The new Rough Guide to Canada is fully redesigned and includes a fresh new contemporary design, world-class photography and accurate maps.  In the guide you will also find my updated chapter on The North which highlights the must see places in Nunavut, NWT, Yukon, northern BC & Alberta as well as Haida Gwaii.

Designed to make finding information easier and packed with more feature boxes, itineraries and recommendations, this new full-colour Rough Guides makes it easier than ever to make the most of your time on Earth!

All Rough Guide publications are available in most major book stores and on on-line sites.  Check out for the latest news.

I'm looking forward to receiving my advance copy.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.


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