Two Jack Lake Milky-way

At Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park, we attempted to capture the milky-way on May 28th, 2022. Sadly, it was a failed attempt as the weather suddenly changed and the clouds quickly rolled in. The weather forecast had predicted clear skies until about 2 am and then partly cloudy with 20% cloud cover until 6 am. Throughout the night, temperatures were to drop and rain and snow were forecast for 7 am.  

Arrived on Location

At 11 pm, we arrived at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park and quickly set up. For the first time this year, we tried to use the star tracker and had done some maintenance on it. The batteries in the polar alignment scope were changed. Polaris was difficult to find due to the cloud, which obscured our view of the stars.

With two tripods set up, we took the first photos with the Canon R5 and tripod without the star tracker attached for a keepsake. So we started the quest of capturing Two Jack Lake Milky-way.

Two Jack Lake Milky-way
Two Jack Lake

Perfect conditions

Mirror-like conditions at Two Jack Lake prevailed on the water. Our social media profiles within the next few weeks will have some beautiful shots taken during the blue hour. All we had to do was wait for the Milky-way to appear.

For longer exposures, proper alignment of the star tracker is crucial otherwise the photograph appears blurry and you get star trails. Using a 16mm lens, the next photo was a long exposure of 2 minutes. The star trails are visible because the star tracker is misaligned with Polaris.

Polaris alignment to get perfect stars with the star tracker. As with the first photograph taken on a stationary tripod, no matter how long the exposure. 

Star Tracker has not aligned with Polaris – 2-minute exposure.

The cloud cover made it impossible to align the star tracker with Polaris, so I moved the camera to a stationary tripod. The next shot is on this tripod, in manual mode, with a long exposure of about 25 seconds.

Two Jack Lake – 25-second long exposure.

On the way out, I decided to see if the Two Jack Lake Milky-way was visible. Since it was cloudy, the milky-way was quite far from Mount Rundle, which prevented us from getting the shot we wanted. The tripod was moved to the left and another 25-second exposure was taken. 

The photograph below was shortly before we packed up. The milky-way is just visible between the clouds.

Milky-way barely visible.

Around 1 am the cloud cover had got us beat. The last shot of the night is when we packed up and headed back to Calgary. The wind had increased to about 20 to 24 KPH and the rain was just starting.

Cloud took control – mirror-like conditions gone

For more information on our milky-way photos for sale check out our landscape page here.

Two Jack Lake Milky-way – The Good News

So perseverance does pay off. We attempted the Three Sisters in Canmore and the Two Jack Lake shots again this season and we were able to get some good shots. Our Three sisters Milky way and the Two Jack Lake Milky way have been added to our limited catalog. To see these prints click on the links.

We also have another blog post for the Three sisters Milky-way and the Two Jack Lake Milky-way, these prints can be seen here.

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