"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
This quote is perhaps one of the most popular words of wisdom attributed to Vincent van Gogh, the legendary Dutch painter who often looked up to the starry night sky and drew inspiration from it for his work, with Starry Night the most popular.
While Van Gogh is certainly an inspiration and artist that we all look up to to this day, I have also recently been inspired by Kamil Tamiola, an adventurer-scientist-photographer who also encourages everyone to look up to the night sky once in a while. In a talk for TEDx (which you will find below in a bit), he shares his reason for braving extreme conditions and intimidating landscapes just to find the perfect spot to gaze up to the night sky, and ultimately, take photos of it.
“I came to this desolate place as I was looking for a retreat from a fast-paced life in a big city. I came looking for adventure but I found something that completely blew my mind, something that I never thought would exist: the worth of clear and starry skies above me,” he says about his choice to endure the biting cold of the mountains he scales in search of adventure and picture-perfect places to photograph. Then, he proceeds to stress how virtually anyone can now observe and even capture the beauty of the night skies. After all, man has been looking up to the starry skies and studying it in hopes of unlocking its secrets, he adds.
While he obviously works with professional gear, Kamil says it’s not about getting the latest and most expensive cameras and lenses, but rather, finding and getting to the right places where light pollution will not spoil a good photograph of the night sky, and taking photos at the right time. “It is not technology, but understanding what happens around you that is the key to developing night photography skills,” he says.
As someone who has been interested with photographing the starry night sky after seeing many interesting star trail photographs like the ones taken by our fellow lomographers above, I find Kamil’s tips and sense of adventure really useful and fascinating! Watch the video below to see what I mean: