View of earth from International Space Station

Last month I posted a photo of the International Space Station flying over Jasper National Park. Here is the view from the other side: North and South America from the ISS. The flyover starts over the Pacific NW of Vancouver Island, continues over the western US, down to Mexico, and on to South America. It ends with sunrise over the Antarctic.

The large areas of city lights show how important Dark Sky Preserves like Jasper National Park are.


Mahikan Trails survival course

There are a lot of outdoor courses out there, but few are as excellent and comprehensive as Mahikan Trails’ survival courses. Just took their 2-day survival course last week. It is actually more of a bushcraft course. At the end of it we had built shelters, made whistles, wood saws, fishing nets, traps, learnt about native foods, fire craft, you name it. And we had a great time while at it. Highly recommended.

One of world’s scariest airports

Korupun (sometimes spelled Koropun) in the highlands of West Papua, has one of the world’s scariest air strips. See this video of a take-off and landing at the strip.

I can attest to the difficulty of landing here; I spent two weeks in the mountains above Korupun in 1995. Planes start by flying over the strip to check for pigs, then have to make one full circle to get low enough to land. When taking off, the plane has to make a 90 degree turn to avoid the mountain wall across the valley, followed by a full turn to get out of the steep walled valley. It’s an experience!

Iceland timelapse

Yet another great timelapse video, this time from Iceland. There are some good links to resources below the video.

Midnight Sun | Iceland from SCIENTIFANTASTIC on Vimeo.

Space Station flying over Jasper

This one-hour exposure captures the International Space Station as a bright dotted line among the curved star trails over of Patricia Lake in Jasper National Park. Composite of 490 images, at 10mm, 6sec, f3.5, captured at 4sec intervals. A car’s headlights light up the forest across the lake.
More star photos of Jasper National Park.

Toronto and Hawaii timelapses

A couple of cool timelapses that were released recently. The first one shows off Toronto:

Toronto Tempo from Ryan Emond on Vimeo.

Not quite the same as the timelapse of Vancouver, but still some great footage. The second one has some amazing footage of Hawaii. Do check out the stills of the Milky Way as well.


Mauna Lapse: From Sea to Summit from The Upthink Lab on Vimeo.

Jasper landscape for Stellarium software

Pyramid Island landscape for StellariumStellarium is a popular, free planetarium software for PC, Mac, and Linux. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. I created a custom landscape of the Pyramid Island observation sites in Jasper National Park for the program, which allows users to check out what stars and planets will be visible from the site at any date and time.

Mountain time lapse

Yet another great time lapse video, this time from Spain, featuring some stunning night-time scenes. Inspiring as usual.


The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Africa from the air

This short video features George Steinmetz’s stunning aerial photography over Africa. George is a great photographer; his aerial photos are second to none. I once had the fortune to take him around Manokwari in West Papua for a day.

Flying in a motorized paraglider over one of the most diverse continents in the world, George Steinmetz captures in his photographs the stunning beauty, potential and hope of Africa’s landscapes and people. See the project at

Parks Canada’s Gift to the Earth

Parks Canada turned 100 on May 19, 2011. In recognition of its conservation efforts it received the WWF Gift to the Earth Award. Watch the video below to learn more about Parks Canada’s recent conservation successes. The addition of Lancaster Sound as a National Marine Conservation Area is fantastic news – it is home to millions of seabirds, like these thick-billed murres on Prince Leopold Island.


Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary video: