What I do

I started my life as very a young child, a baby in fact. Some might even have referred to me as a “newborn” …


Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you my life’s story. The only relevant part of my childhood to include here is that I desperately wanted to become an astronaut. Oh, the sights I would see looking through my spaceship's porthole as I speed between the stars! Someday, someday…

Photo courtesy of upklyak.


Lo and behold, 20 years later, that dream did not come to pass, not even close. However, I did get my first real telescope (a Celestron C8), and began to look with amazement at the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, and more.


At about that same time, I bought my first real SLR film camera, and immediately began taking classes, photography reading books, and apprenticing under professional photographers. I worked hard to master the craft. I wanted to capture and convey those rare moments of inspirational beauty here on Earth when all the right elements – the clouds, the shadows accentuating the contours of the land, etc. - come together to create the perfect outdoors experience.


That was more than half my lifetime ago. Since then, the land, sea, sky, and stars have all remained my favorite targets.


Some look at my work as belonging to two very separate and unrelated categories, "landscapes" and "space". Indeed, I often split them into these divisions just to make it easier for people. Many have asked how I became interested in such different types of photography. To me, they are not different at all. Space is not only part of our environment, Space is the Earth's environment, just as a forest is the environment for a tree. Why concern myself only with this tree and ignore the rest of the forest?


“But space is just so far away!” What is the longest single drive or trip you have ever taken? Think about it. Space is only 62 miles away. Travel 62 miles up and you're in space. Lots of people commute farther than that every workday.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live on a giant spaceship traveling through the galaxy at hundreds of thousands of miles per hours? A vessel large enough that we could grow our own food and move about freely, and one with a window large enough to let everyone peer out at the vast beauty of space.


This insignificantly tiny speck we call Earth is, at this very moment, traveling at 242 miles per second as compared to the universe’s measurable background. At this moment you are hurling through space at a speed measured at about 872,405 miles per hour. To understand how this is possible read this relatively simple article.

Photo courtesy of tawatchai07.


The point is this: we are all living within (including the atmosphere) a space vessel traveling at an unimaginable speed through the cosmos. It turns out that I am an astronaut after all, and like it or not, so are you. I just happen to be one of the few who love to capture images of the environments both within and beyond our tiny spaceship.

 

 

 

-Jeff

 

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