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Saskatchewan photographer Courtney Milne, shown here in still from a 2002 CBC-TV interview, photographed sacred landscapes and spaces in his home province and around the world. He died Sunday of cancer. ((CBC))

Renowned Saskatchewan nature photographer Courtney Milne has died at the age of 66 following a prolonged battle with cancer.

Milne, who was born in Saskatoon, had spent his final days at home in Grandora near Saskatoon and died on Sunday.

A prolific photographer and author or co-author of more than a dozen books, he explored sacred sites and landscapes around the globe.

Milne took almost half a million photos on all seven continents for a series of books called The Sacred Earth Collection, according to the Saskatchewan Encyclopedia.

In a 2007 essay for CBC Radio's This I Believe program, Milne said he experienced a turning point several years earlier when he learned to appreciate his home surroundings with new eyes.

"I found the path to myself through my camera," Milne said. "It led me around the world and home again.

"My most evocative photographs were right at my own doorstep, reflections of the autumn foliage in my outdoor pool, which looked like Monet paintings."

Among his books was Old Man on His Back: Portrait of a Prairie Landscape, which he co-authored with writer Sharon Butala.

She remembered him Monday as a true professional who would go to great pains to get the perfect shot.

"He thought nothing of getting up long before sunrise and staying up through the phases of the moon," Butala said.

"He would wait until conditions were exactly the way he wanted them to be, and that's something most amateur photographers haven't figured out yet."

Among the awards Milne received was, in 1993, the gold medal for distinction in Canadian photography by the National Association for Photographic Arts.

Milne is survived by his partner, Sherrill Miller. Funeral arrangements are not yet known.