Globetrotting astrophotographer says Sask. skies best in the world
In a lifetime stargazing around the world, Kanwar Singh says Saskatchewan skies are best
Growing up in India, Kanwar Singh was fascinated by the promise of worlds unknown held by the study of astronomy.
At age 13, he made a basic telescope through a process of "trial and error."
A year later, while Singh was living in Kuwait, his father gave him his first real telescope. Singh hasn't looked down since.
"My dad bought me a telescope which I used extensively," he said.
Singh said throughout his time living around the world, including in the U.S. and Canada's Maritimes, his interest in astronomy has never faded. However, he wasn't always actively stargazing.
"I left the hobby for some time, but now I have some time," he explained.
"I thought, you know, instead of just seeing these objects through a telescope, why not capture them in my camera and keep it as a record. So, that's how I decided I wanted to take pictures of the night sky. The galaxies. The planets."
Singh said Saskatchewan's sky offers views like none other.
"I have discovered that we are lucky to be here in Saskatchewan because Saskatchewan has a lot of dark skies. You go out of the city, if you're living in Saskatoon or Regina, you drive 45 minutes and you can see the Milky Way galaxy, all of the stars," he said.
"I have been living in Saskatchewan for the past four-and-a-half years. I have travelled across the world... you know, some of these places, the light pollution is so much that even if you drive out of the city one or two hours you won't reach any spot where you can find such beautiful skies."
Singh has been practicing his starry portraiture for a year. He said there are some basic things any hopeful astrophotographer should keep in mind when they start.
- the sky needs to be clear and dark. Rural areas often offer the best views
- photos turn out best in low humidity conditions
- comfort is key to patience; dress warm if it is cold out
"Basically, it all comes down to practice. As you practice, you get better," he said.
"When you look at these photos, you wonder. There is so much out there that we don't know yet. We are just on one planet. There is so much out there that we don't know yet, that we haven't seen yet. You know, just to have that opportunity to have a glimpse, a little bit of these objects and what they look like, it gives me satisfaction."
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