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Milky Way Glitters Above American National Parks (PICTURES)

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 A photograph of starry Night at Bryce Canyon National Park
A photograph of starry Night at Bryce Canyon National Park

These stunning images capture the glory of the Milky Way and are taken with just a simple digital camera.

Revealing the Earth's place in our swirling galaxy, the pictures are so precise they look as if they've been captured by a telescope.

And incredibly, photographer Royce Bair has only been turning his lens to the night's sky for the past six months.

Calling his series "Night Scapes', Royce, 36, created the erie and ghostly images by visiting some of America's most famous national parks.

"I love working in the quiet of the night, with few distractions," explained Royce.

"Most of my Night Scape photos are taken in western U.S. national parks, in the height of the tourist season.

"At night, most of these areas are deserted. I chose Grand Teton, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks for for two reasons.

"One is because their land features are very recognisable, even at night. I only add subtle light painting if it increase that recognition or it enhances their features.

"The other is because they are far away from big cities, where light pollution competes with the stars."

Each image is taken using a 30 second exposure with Royce revelling in the technical challenges night sky photography brings.

"I love astronomy and looking into the heavens to see the galaxies, constellations, and nebula," said Royce.

"Each exposure is 30 seconds long because any longer than this and then the stars appear to move or streak, due to the rotation of the earth.

"I would roughly calculate that the full-frame sensor of my Canon EOS 5D Mark II is about 10 times more sensitive than your eye.

"You see the big problem in doing star photography is finding a totally dark and cloudless sky.

"It must be at least two hours after sunset, at least two hours before sunrise; and the moon must have set or be in one of its smaller crescent phases."

Inspired by the advances in digital photography over the past decade, Royce is steadily building a starry night portfolio.

"My exposures show virtually all the stars in the sky - so many, that the sky often appears gritty. The biggest revelation has been how much light pollution there is in our world today.

"So many of my admirers lament how they cannot find any places where they live to do the same type of photography.

"I've also become more aware of the heavenly cycles in our universe. In order to get these images, I have to do a lot of planning and be more aware of the cycles of the moon, planets and major constellations.

"It has given me a lot of satisfaction to open people's eyes to a whole other world that awaits them in the evening sky. You can literally have two vacations when you visit our national parks or other remote locations.

"I also hope that others will feel a greater connection to the creator of our universe and the infinite order we are a part of."

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