June 10, 2015 - 7:27 PM
PENTICTON - A Penticton photographer uses the night sky as his subject and the great Okanagan outdoors as his studio.
Stephen Hancock recently took some spectacular photographs of an aurora-filled night sky above Brunell Lake, northwest of Oliver.
Over the past two years, Hancock has taken photos of the Okanagan night sky. Locally he often travels to the Ellis Creek reservoir, Solco Lake, Brunell Lake or Nickel Plate Lake, and then turns his lens to the night sky to catch photographs of the Milky Way or northern lights, an event he has seen several times over the past couple of weeks.
Hancock says he and a group of photographic enthusiasts monitor nightly astronomical activity, and 'if it’s happening, we’re on it,' he says.
When Hancock isn’t designing and building log homes, he’s conducting tourism workshops in photography. For the past two years, he’s been providing people with instruction in night time photography. He’s had clients from as far away as Texas, but most come from the Okanagan. He has also been recognized in Vancouver and Calgary for his photographs of night cityscapes.
“But astrophotography is my passion. I love it,” he says, calling it a 'dreadful disease' because of the hours he keeps to get those photographs.
A typical June night spent shooting the aurora borealis, as he has done recently, sees him driving up a remote forestry backroad to get to one of the lakes he prefers to shoot at, and then staying through the night. Luckily for Hancock, he’s able to function without a lot of sleep.
“We’re usually wrapping it up around 4 or 4:30 a.m. That’s when it’s daylight these days,” he says.
Credit: Stephen Hancock
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015