Sylvan Lake Municipal Library partnering with local photographer for unique class

Local photographer will teach an intro to astrophotography through the library this month

Photo by Gary Neilson

Photo by Gary Neilson

The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library is partnering with a local photographer for a special instructional session on astrophotography, or photography of astronomical objects, celestial events, and areas of the night sky.

Local photographer Gary Neilson will be instructing those interested in an introduction to “backyard astrophotography” on June 15 through Zoom.

Participants in the class will learn the basics of astrophotography, from simple equipment to get started to more complex setups.

The program is open to all and no prior experience is necessary, according to the library.

The program will consist of Neilson explaining how to capture photos of heavenly objects using modern cameras, telescopes, mounts that track the night sky as the earth rotates, software and image processing techniques.

Having always been interested in general photography, Nielsen says he began capturing images of the Milky Way and beyond relatively recently.

In 2001 he bought his first “proper” telescope after moving to Canada to “casually observe” the night sky when he could escape the light pollution in Calgary.

Drawn by the darker skies of Sylvan Lake, Neilson made the move from Calgary to Sylvan Lake to further pursue astrophotography.

He started small with simple equipment when following his passion. Gradually he expanded and progressed until he finished what he calls his “Exceedingly Small Observatory” last autumn.

The program is free, though space is limited and registration is required. Contact the library at or 403-887-2130 to register by 5 p.m. on June 14.

The program will be held on June 15 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. over Zoom.

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