Alright, I’m super excited to start my night series here on picture of the week.  Typically I sneak one or two night images in from trips I’ve taken, but this year, since I wasn’t able to travel anywhere with awesome skies, I’ve just been randomly shooting here around East Tennessee as the sky has permitted.  By my count, we’ve had all of about 9 nights worth shooting here when the conditions were great this Milky Way season, and from that I’ve got three images that I plan on sharing.  Since it’s a three part picture series, I’m also going to break up the narrative into three parts, and this week I want to talk about inspiration.  Just as a heads up, we’re about to get spiritual up in here, so if you’re not into that – that’s cool, we can still be friends – you can just enjoy the picture above and carry on.  🙂

One of the things that motivates my photography is a desire to share the beauty of the world with those that might not have a chance to see it – for whatever the reason.  When it comes to night photography though, none of us can actually see it, at least not to the extent that the camera can “see” it, and so sharing images like these is a way for me to illustrate the expanse around us, and how beautiful it is.

This morning at church we sang a song called “So Will I (100 Billion X)” by Hillsong Worship, and the opening verse really captures what I find so inspiring about the night sky.  When you’re in a spot with really clear and dark night skies, you can catch a glimpse of the glory that is space.  It is in those times that I feel the smallest, because I can get a tiny sense of how grand the expanse is.  As many times as I’ve been blessed to see the Milky Way, I still say “wow” every time I see it.  I also can’t look at the night sky and not think how great God is.  As Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands”.  So that’s what inspires me to create these images, and shoot the night sky over and over.  I’m always in search of better skies and more detail in the images; all to illustrate how grand it all is.

The song verse I was referencing goes like this:

God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light
And as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises so will I
Hillsong United, “So Will I (100 Billion X)”. Wonder, 2017,
If you’d like to hear the whole song, I’ve added the video below for your listening enjoyment.
More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Cades Cove
Primitive Baptist Church Rd, Townsend, TN 37882, USA

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