Five Tips for Photographing the Autumn Night Sky

  By Monika Deviat


Fall is approaching and the nights are becoming longer in the Canadian Rockies. The Milky Way core is still visible as soon as the sky becomes dark but is already setting and will be below the horizon within a short time. In November, the core will not be visible to us at night. Notable autumn constellations are best observed starting in late September. With the longer nights comes more opportunity to work on star trails. Here a few tips from local photographer Monika Deviat on how to prepare for your trip out for starry skies in the mountains.

1. Be prepared. Have many clothing layers with you, water, food, emergency gear suitable for the trip, etc.

2. Do your research. Scout locations, use apps to figure out when the Milky Way or certain constellations line up with potential foreground options, know the routes and area, etc.

3. If you are getting in and out of your vehicle for multiple locations, make sure your camera returns to your bag to keep it from temperature jumps which may cause moisture to build up and fogging.

4. Take a study tripod and use a remote or timer to trigger your camera.

5. Hand warmers and toe warmers can save you and your batteries. Toss them in your gloves and shoes, and you can also stick some on your camera to keep your batteries running longer.

If you want some hands-on guidance and to get to some of the best locations in the southern Rockies, join Joe Desjardins and Monika Deviat for a four-day photography workshop, Shoot Till You Drop: Waterton.

The title says it all. This unique workshop gives you the chance to try a variety of styles of photography with the expert instruction and guidance of two seasoned Alberta based photographers in Waterton National Park. Classroom instruction and in the field guidance will be provided for landscape, wildlife, portrait and night photography. Included in the workshop are accommodations, breakfasts and bagged lunches. Waterton in the fall will be full of colours and wildlife. The workshop is scheduled around new moon to take advantage of the dark skies in the park. Class size is limited to ensure everyone will get one-on-one help in the field.

The workshop runs September 26-29th, 2019. Accommodations will be at the Bayshore Inn and Resort. Click here to claim your spot now.


Monika began her photography career as a concert photographer. Focusing mainly on heavy metal bands, she has had the opportunity to photograph many of her favorite bands over the years and travel to many festivals across North America and even in international waters on the world's largest heavy metal cruise. Her concert photos have been featured at, Pitch Black Magazine, Calgary Herald, Beatroute AB,, SMN Magazine and Terrorizer Magazine. While Monika still enjoys photographing concerts, her portfolio has expanded to include a few new passions including night photography and landscape photography. Alberta provides a variety of landscapes which Monika enjoys exploring and roaming around at night and sometimes during the day. As well as being a photographer Monika works as a physicist by day and is a fitness enthusiast who spends a lot of time hanging off aerial equipment or hiking up mountains.