Night Train in a Moonlit Night of Banff
A panorama of Morant’s Curve, a famous viewpoint on the Bow River in Banff National Park, with an eastbound train on the CPR tracks under the stars of the winter sky. Illumination is from the 13-day gibbous Moon off frame at left.
Orion is at centre; Sirius and Canis Major at left; and Taurus and the Pleiades at right. The main peak at centre is Mount Temple; the peaks at right are the ones around Lake Louise.
I shot this March 19, 2019 at the start of the evening, from the new viewpoint on the Bow Valley Parkway. Morant’s Curve is named for the famed CPR photographer Nicholas Morant who often shot from here with large format film cameras.
Now, how did I do this? I was shooting multi-segment panoramas at the viewpoint when a train whistle in the distance to the est alerted me to the oncoming train. I started the panorama segment shooting at the left, and just by good luck the train was in front of me at centre when I hit the central segment. I continued to the right to catch the blurred rest of the train snaking around Morant’s Curve. It took some adjustments of the masks in the panorama segments to get the train to blend well from segment to segment. This was stitched with PTGui as Photoshop would not handle this well. PTGui allows adjusting the masks on the individual segments. The equirectangular projection used stretches out and distorts the constellations a bit at top.
Each segment is 8 seconds at f/3.2 and ISO 800 with the 24mm Sigma Art lens and Nikon D750 in portrait orientation. I added a Luminar Orton glow effect to the ground for artistic effect.