Tag Archives: astrophotographers

The Walk to Eternity :: CT

6 Jun

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In most areas of the East Coast of the US, light pollution is so prevalent that many people have gone their entire lives without every having seen the Milky Way. They don’t realize what they’re missing because to them, that’s just normal. Because it’s normal, they also don’t realize all of the problems that come along with light pollution- disrupted circadian rhythms and the health problems associated with that, disruption in migration patterns and growth cycles for flora and fauna, behavioral changes in animals, etc.

In a discussion I had with another photographer recently, another tragic consequence of light pollution is that people don’t get to experience the feeling of connection and perspective that comes from looking up at the night sky and realizing we are just a small part of a massive universe. We are beautiful specks of Star dust who have been given a precious gift – the opportunity to live our life on a rare habitable planet – and we shouldn’t take that for granted. Rather, through the stars, we should be reminded to live our lives as fully and beautifully as we are able.

This particular shot was taken last week in a little swath of dark-ish sky in CT. I had the joy of teaching night sky photography, and watching my student’s love for photographing the night sky grow in front of my eyes. It was a lovely experience. ❤️

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Guide Us Home :: RI

18 Jul
Guide Us Home :: RI

Guide Us Home :: RI

In Connecticut, dark sky areas are almost non-existent, due to our dense population and the light pollution that comes with it.  That makes capturing the Milky Way very difficult.  To truly have a sky that is dark enough to see detail in the Milky Way core, I need to either drive to Rhode Island (where the is a tiny oasis of dark sky along our shared border) or north and/or northwest towards Massachusetts, Vermont or upstate New York.

So besides the inconvenience of needing to travel, why is light pollution a problem?  Because it isn’t just light.  It’s light that affects everything.

There is evidence that too much night-light will effect trees’ seasonal clocks.  It’s shown that the bright lights of human cities can disrupt migration patterns of birds, the ability of newly hatched sea turtles to find the safety of the water, the hunting and territory patterns of opportunistic animals…. and researchers are beginning to think that the disruption to our – humans – natural circadian cycles is a risk factor for higher incidences of cancer.

“The health effects of light pollution have not been as well defined for humans as for wildlife, although a compelling amount of epidemiologic evidence points to a consistent association between exposure to indoor artificial nighttime light and health problems such as breast cancer, says George Brainard, a professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.” (here)

So about those pockets of darkness near Connecticut?  Well, Beavertail Light in Rhode Island is along the edge of one.  When my friend Tony Curado, who is working on a Galactic 50 project (capturing the Milky Way in all 50 states!), suggested he wanted to chase stars in my neighborhood, I knew exactly what location to try.

The night finally arrived, and as I sat there under the stars with Tony and Kyle (another local photographer), I felt grateful. There I was, watching the universe do its thing, the sounds of the waves kissing the land, and good friends to share it with.

Insomnia :: NY

16 Jun
Insomnia :: NY

Insomnia :: NY

Insomnia….sounds about right these days. It’s been an awesome, but very busy few months. There has been a lot of great stuff going on with my students over at Light & Landscape, filling print orders (thank you guys for keeping my gas tank full!), weddings, portrait shoots, music shows, newspaper work and travel….but not much of it involves sleeping. Lol  (Shout out to all the sleep deprived entrepreneurs out there chasing their dreams!) Your continued support and confidence in my work is so appreciated! You guys rock!

 

This shot was taken on a beautiful, clear night a few weeks ago in upstate NY. The stars and the company were glorious. 🙂

 

The nerdy details: this is a composite of 4 shots at different ISOs to help moderate the noise. The foreground is a 5 min long exposure, the rest were shot for the stars/Milky Way.