Starry Photographs Brighten The Night

Living as close to populated areas, it's not too often that many of us get to see the night sky as it was truly meant to be seen.

That's where people like Ben Canales come in. Based out of Portland, Oregon, Canales is a photographer who spends his spare time camping and capturing astounding images to share with the world.

"As a kid, looking up at the sky, it was a starry night if we could see more than 20 visible stars ..." Canales writes on his website. "A few years ago, I traded the East Coast for the West Coast and now I'm nearby some very dark, much less light polluted night skies. It's been a thrill and a treasured experience to look up and see a literal field of diamonds in the stars above."

Canales found his passion for night photography during a camping trip several years back. He fidgeted with the settings on his Canon camera to see what the results would be and was pleasantly surprised by the results.

"What amazed me is even in the messy, poorly exposed bad picture there were more stars in the sky showing up on the back of my camera than I could see with my own eyes," Canales said. "Right then and there I was hooked."

The process is not always simple, and Canales has a few preferences for capturing the perfect shot.

"Weather is a major part of a good night," he told "Bad weather means no stars. I pay close attention to with forecast and satellite reports before committing to a 2-3 hour drive from home."

"A good night of shooting involves 'mostly clear' skies, with a quarter moon or less, and being 50-150 miles from the largest city," he added.

Canales' starry photographs have grabbed worldwide attention and the photographer's Facebook page currently has 8,363 likes. He won the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest in 2011.

"My photography is about wonder," Canales writes. "As adults we've lost the child-like wonder our world was beaming with when we were younger. I believe it is still there to be seen one just needs to work a bit harder to find it."

Canales' photographs can be viewed on his website as well as

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