Lagoon Nebula shot in Hong Kong

Searching the cosmos for places you haven’t been

“I am not impressed by money, social status or job title. I am impressed by the way someone treats other human beings.”

~ Iben Dissing Sandahl

Inspiration is never ending in the night sky 🌌

I get asked a lot what makes my art different than just photos on the Internet. 🔭Finding your muse with your own eyes takes time, patience, and practice. What I view through my lens isn’t available through an internet search. I take my view of the sky, how I see the vast space above us, and create a work of art that does not mimic what others have already seen🌌 I show you the corners of the universe you haven’t laid eyes upon yet👀 I use my artwork to launch you into the stratosphere, through the stars, and float through the beauty of space, but I take the initial journey alone.

You may be alone, but you’re surrounded by so much. Astro-photography is a hobby one practices when they are comfortable with being alone although, I always feel right at home while my eyes are in the stars. Online forums and social media bombard humans with a never-ending feed of the most interesting pictures and tutorials. Investing time in the galaxies and nebulae, devoid of emotions, isn’t entertaining enough for most of mankind 🤷‍♀️

Learning to let others join me on my journey

Reaching out to strangers never occurred to me 🤷‍♀️

I had spent time posting on edited astrograph groups on social media, but that had been it.

Then, I encountered a group of model aircraft ✈️enthusiasts on a group outing class that changed my perspective forever

From the moment I got off the taxi, they couldn’t stop taking their gaze off me. 👀 When I bring my telescope, mount, and supplies to set up somewhere and shoot, the last thing I expect is to bump into a group of men looking to poke fun at the fact that I don’t have a man carting around my belongings for me. 🤦‍♀️

 

They asked why my male classmates weren’t helping me with my equipment. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I’ll never understand why men think other men should help the “weaker” sex when it comes to any task requiring physical strength 💪

The answer to their question was that my classmates were not only strangers, but they had their own heavy equipment to lug around 🔭

I didn’t say that, though. I decided instead to speak my mind and responded with:

I didn’t attend the astrophotography class to find a star-crossed lover.” 😶

Fragrance of amulet

I never imagined that Astro-photography would bring me closer to others. One of the gentlemen handed me his bottle of citronella oil to help repel mosquitoes🦟I gladly accepted and poured a little on the tissue paper, and returned the bottle to him. That wasn’t enough though, he told me to“Put the tissue paper inside the pocket of your jeans in case re-application is needed.” He refused to take back the citronella oil until I poured more than enough on the tissue paper.

I am certain that reviewers of Fragrantica or Basenotes would describe citronella oil as a beast mode total scrubber. The pungent smell 👃from the tissue paper kept wafting up during the outing class. I think it repelled not only mosquitoes but also humans.🙈 I understood his motive: it was his protection for me when my companions were only men. He thought about my safety even though we were strangers.

Not every stranger has ulterior motives

This fellow was generous. Enough so to give me a bottle of 500ml of water and some citronella oil to put on my arms to repel insects without asking for anything in return. He didn’t know when he offered but my bag was filled to capacity. Every inch was filled with something I needed and there was no room for water. 🚫No stalls in the vicinity 🚫No vending machines in the area

I could enjoy my own saliva or slowly wither away from lack of water 😵 His kindness didn’t end at his offerings of water and insect repellent though.

“Come and have fun with us every Saturday. You can teach us astro-photography and we can train you to play model aircraft. ” It’s something that’s still stuck in my mind.

The way humans treat others tells them who they are, not the other way around. I didn’t know what made them accept me into their circle immediately, but I appreciated it. In a lonely world where everybody is taught to fight for their best interests, how often will we meet strangers who care about us? 🤔 The art of human interaction is as complex as ever, yet I feel an affinity to them.

Cosmic Art Takes Time

Technological advancements have made the lengthy process of taking long-exposure, deep sky images just that bit easier. But they can’t overcome the fact that the quality of astrographs still depends on time. Fast telescopes are no exception to this rule. Many of my fellows have taken on the world with big dreams and high hopes, but their patience with the stars runs thin. Before long, they’ve lost interest. The field of cosmic art asks that you compromise with the universe. After all, it’s giving us the gift of its immense and soul-shaking beauty – we can wait a while. ⭐⭐⭐ Spending nights taking pictures of the night sky only comes after fixing all sorts of problems before the actual shooting. And so, I have sat with my telescope and camera for many hours each night, awaiting what the universe had to show me. 🔭 Whether you like it or not, you have to be patient if you want to be a leading figure in this hobby.😔

Chase your passions

Light years away from the Earth 🌌 the objects to be shot in astro-photography could never fathom human languages. Rotating around a fixed orbit 🪐their movements are predictable, if not boring. Rare astronomical events may not even take place once in our lifetime. The complexity of the unknown realm continues to amaze me.

There is a ridiculous amount to learn and discover while finding my muse for my next piece of art. I also truly enjoy each moment of working with my telescope and mount 🔭 it feels like we work in tandem with one another rather than me controlling it. We’re so often held back by the influences of our peers. The judgement made by those who think only one particular gender should be able to excel at something. Push through the negativity and go after what moves your heart and soul. In the end you’re the only one who matters. 💞

Check out the blog post “Astrophotography from a Rebel

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