There is a lot to take in riding under the stars on a cold clear night in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. The wildlife, the forested trails, the cabins and the beautifully dark night sky. It was magical heading out on a snowmobile to enjoy the trails and warm up shelters maintained by the Hudson Bay Trail Riders snowmobile club. The Northern Lights didn’t make an appearance but the atmosphere created by the stars and slight cloud cover was enchanting.
Hudson Bay Saskatchewan, has long been known as a premier snowmobile destination, being voted the best in Saskatchewan for over a decade by Western Canadian Snowmobile enthusiasts. With over 680km of groomed snowmobile trails winding through the majestic boreal forest of Saskatchewan and 11 warm up shelters to keep you warm on the trail, its no wonder this is the top destination for snowmobiling in Saskatchewan!
Naturally as a night photographer, I wanted to photograph how peaceful and serene a night ride can be. So we hit the trails just after 8pm and spent several hours out near a warm up shelter capturing the night sky. It was cold and the wind blew hard, but bundled up and determined, we headed out.
The warm up shelter was a welcomed reprieve after riding just over 20 km into the night. Each shelter is more like a small cabin with solar power lighting, fire wood, stoves, drying racks, outhouses and benches. You can’t spend the night in them but they are available in many locations throughout the trail system. Its best practice to leave it cleaner than when you arrived and always pack out what you pack in.
We made one of these shelters our base camp for this photo series, as we got the fire going and snacks out before unpacking the camera gear. For the next several hours I captured the stars.
Here is my Snowmobile Under the Stars mini photo series:
Settings & Equipment used:
Canon 6D, Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, Manfrotto Tripod, small light panel
Images range between 10-20 second exposures, ISO 800-3200
Photographers Tip: when heading out on a snowmobile or for an extended period in the cold make sure to keep extra batteries warm. The cold can reduce the battery life of both the batteries in the camera as well as the extra ones in your bag. Bring heat packs or keep them warm in an inside pocket!
For more information on Hudson Bay and area, visit their website. For more information on snowmobiling in Saskatchewan visit the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association.