Every year at Easter, I generally try to post an image that in some way (however loosely) points to the Easter story.  I’m afraid I don’t always succeed, but at least I try?! 🙂  Anyway, this year since I’m on a night sky kick already with Picture of the Week, I’m going to jump ahead to a picture I got in South Africa (don’t worry, I’ll swing back to South Africa in a few weeks).

Typically when I go out shooting at night, I’m not trying to just photograph an object in the night sky (the Orion Nebula was a big exception), but rather use the night sky as part of my scene.  The situation I found myself in while in South Africa though, was that it simply wasn’t safe to be out wandering around in the night.  There was either a threat of wild animals, or a threat of crime.  Not willing to let that just be that, however, I decided to shoot some objects in the sky from the balcony of one of our hotels.  What you see in the picture above can’t be seen here in the Northern Hemisphere, because they never make it above the horizon from our point of view.  My favorite such object is the Southern Cross and accompanying Coalsack Nebula, both of which were very visible in the night sky there.  I find it always fun to see, and I’ve created a sky guide below for those that aren’t familiar with the various stars.

When you take a wide-view picture of the Milky Way (like those seen in these pictures I got on Easter Island), the Southern Cross seems a bit small, but standing under it and looking up at it, it feels really big. It reminds me how small I am, which I believe is exactly what it was meant to do; remind us that we are small, and our Creator is huge and all powerful.

Happy Easter everyone!    More night photography next week,

–Dan Thompson

TitleAddress Description
Cades Cove
Hermanus, 7200, South Africa

Now that you’ve seen it labeled, check out these images from Easter Island and see if you can spot the Southern Cross

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