Recently on Facebook, I wrote that I wanted to take a look at landscape astrophotography. The more I have thought about it, I don't think it is just a photographic infatuation. I am pretty sure I had a photographic epiphany. Something I saw changed the way I feel about photography. A glimpse into something far bigger and more beautiful than I had ever thought existed. More about that later.
What is landscape astrophotography, you ask? Here's a nutshell description gleaned from a simple internet search: a term used to describe photographs that include both the landscape and celestial objects, as though we were there and could see it with our own eyes. (I'm not going to filch someone else's picture as an example, that's not how I roll. Google will give you some decent examples.)
That's the beautiful part(s) of it. In the right place, you can see this. And modern camera technology will finally allow us to capture that. I may eventually have to add some specialized gear normally reserved for astronomers to really capitalize on these sorts of images. But for right now, my current camera body should allow me start down this path. And the beauty part? After paring my kit down from "I want all the lenses and bodies" to "the shit I actually use frequently" I can to tote it around in a smallish backpack.
Circling back to where I started with this . . .. On a recent visit to the Evergreen State of Washington, I found myself in a fairly remote place late at night. For some reason which I may never fathom, I was prompted to look up into the night sky. What I saw mesmerized me and I just stood there and stared at it. I was looking, of course, directly in to our Milky Way. The more I looked and studied (and my eyes adjusted a bit to the dark) I was convinced that I could stand on my toes and touch it. It put so much of 2013 into a perspective for me, in that the troubles of the universe are not all mine. That I need to stop worrying about other people's
shit stuff and concentrate on what is mine. It also made wanting to capture what I was seeing and share it with others a "must do" for me. I think I have found the niche of photography that was somehow destined to fit into. And it nearly feel out of the sky and hit me. The sad part of the story: I had neglected to bring along the part that connects the camera to the tripod. I couldn't capture what I was seeing for y'all to enjoy, but it allowed me to set a goal of doing just that.
So that is where I want to take myself, photographically speaking. With some luck and a lot of elbow grease, I should be able to create some compelling images and perhaps turn this into a full scale book/exhibition project.
Siochán leat, S.E.G.
I miss you, Pop. Wish I could share this with you.