The stars are truly like dust; reminded of the book titled “The Stars, Like Dust”, written by Isaac Asimov.
The vastness of the night sky, with the stars behind the stars visible, and those stars behind them and those behind them can also be clearly seen. Captured here in the breadth of the sky, from horizon to horizon, the full Milky Way is presented in grandeur before us. As viewed from the Southern Hemisphere; the Southern Cross is set in the gentle curvature of the Milky Way. A billion upon billion of stars laid as dust in the night sky, with three shooting stars visible and the brightest one pointing directly to the Southern Cross itself.
I recently discovered that Saturn has also been captured in this frame. I had wondered for a while how a yellow ‘star’ could be bigger and more prominent than the Pointers and the Southern Cross, and speaking to a friend he said that yellow stars are in actual fact planets. In researching the time and date of the photograph, yes, there it is; Saturn was there. If you look just above the Southern Cross and a little to the left of the shooting star you will see a bright and large star … there you go, that is Saturn.
I had originally planned to have the Southern Cross placed in the mid section of the photograph, held in composition by the glory of the Milky Way itself. But by the time that I was able to get to a place to shoot this grand vista, it was getting a bit late. If you think of the star movements to that of a clock, as there are twelve months in the year the Southern Cross’ position moves as like the hour hand of a clock. In May at 9pm it is at the 12pm mark, however, in June it moves to the 1pm mark, and so on.
I had planned this shot for over a year, and after a series of testing purchased specialised equipment for it. My first attempt was in May, and then June, this particular frame was captured late July. In the end things didn’t go completely to plan for the Southern Cross was positioned disappointingly too far to the right. But you know, sometimes its nice for Heaven to compose itself on my behalf. The narrative presented in this piece is beyond what I could have hoped for: the Southern Cross is beautifully composed to the right of the frame, with the cloud of stars that make up the core of the Milky Way composed beautifully on the left.
The grandness of the Milky Way has been captured here, and it is beyond my own imagination; I would say that I was helped. Here you have the Southern Cross balanced perfectly on one side and the centre of our galaxy glowing perfectly on the other. This cloud is the nucleus of our galaxy, its called the ‘Galactic Bar’ … amazing. We have shooting stars, Saturn, and layer upon layer upon layer of colourful stars; even more than what can be presented on the final print.
The resolution of the photograph was purposed to be grainless at the 200cm size. This has been achieved. The image is totally devoid of any dots except that of the stars. It is a grand image, especially as how the camera has represented the Milky Way in an amber tone.
location: Northern QLD, shutter speed: 12 seconds, filters: None, time and conditions: clear skies, Limited Edition: 360
Available as Limited Edition photographic prints, sizes from 100 x 32cm (6 x 20 inch) to 300 x 96cm (38 x 120 inch). Printed on the finest grade photographic paper, signed and numbered. Acrylic ‘Face-Mount’ framing is also available.
Contact Ric J Steininger Gallery:
Address: Shop 22/1-3 Coondoo Street, Kuranda
Cairns City, Queensland Australia
Postal: PO Box 12269d, Cairns QLD 4870
tel: +61 (0)7 4052-1533
mob: +61 (0)413 223-847