I am fortunate to live at a latitude (between 53 and 54 degrees north) where the northern lights pay a frequent visit. For me photographing the aurora was an obvious first foray into the field of night photography.
Astronomical phenomena, such as this lunar eclipse, are also superb subjects for initial experimentation with night photography.
In the north, where winters nights are long, it really only makes sense that photographers try out night photography. Especially when, as was this case, all I had to do was step out onto my front yard and point the camera straight up at the colorful aurora right over top of my house!
Light sources here? The green light arises from high energy protons interacting with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere, the red from high energy protons interacting with oxygen atoms and the orange from sodium street lamps illuminating my spruce tree.
When people visit tropical destinations, going to the beach to watch the sunrise or sunset can be a memorable part of the vacation. However, watching the Milky Way rise from a Hawaiian beach is also quite the memory maker. The dark skies found over the Hawaiian island of Maui allow for this magical experiance.
Composing a night sky photograph really is no different from composing in the daytime. Here I used the wonderful North Saskatchewan River to lead into the picture, while using a low horizon to take advantage of the star-filled skies found in central Alberta. 
One disadvantage of living at high latitudes is that by the time it gets dark in summer the Milky Way has already risen right overhead. Therefore I took advantage of my 20mm wide angle lens and a clearing in the trees to point the camera straight up. The dark skies found in the Canadian Rockies even revealed the galaxy Andromeda, the farthest object you can see unaided.
I am completely amazed at the abilities of my cameras to capture the night skies. 

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