Stars align for pho­tog­ra­pher’s lens


How of­ten have you looked up at night and mar­velled at the stars? Greg Stevens is a star-gazer with a knack for pho­tog­ra­phy.

Stevens is one of the en­trants in this year’s Franklin Arts Fes­ti­val, with three works en­tered in the Flo­ral and New Zealand cat­e­gories.

A mem­ber of the Pukekohe Franklin Cam­era Club for 30 years, he had been a huge sup­porter of the arts fes­ti­val and had en­tered nearly ev­ery year since it be­gan in 1990.

‘‘It’s a mat­ter of sup­port­ing lo­cal arts, and it’s also an op­por­tu­nity to present your art­work to the pub­lic,’’ he said.

‘‘The Franklin Arts Fes­ti­val is re­garded as one of the top arts fes­ti­vals in New Zealand.’’

Stevens said his cur­rent in­ter­est lay in as­tropho­tog­ra­phy, although he had tack­led many dif­fer­ent sub­jects in the past, in­clud­ing wed­dings, V8 supercars and wildlife.

The Franklin res­i­dent said he of­ten headed out at two or three in the morn­ing to spend hours cap­tur­ing the beauty of the Milky Way through his lens.

‘‘I’m en­joy­ing the peace and quiet and seren­ity of tak­ing the pho­tos,’’ he said. ‘‘What looks like a sim­ple photo … is hours and hours of work.’’

It’s a sight he wished more peo­ple had a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence - Stevens is also ac­tively in­volved in ef­forts to re­duce light pol­lu­tion to al­low the beauty of the uni­verse to shine through.

‘‘A lot of my work is about ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about our dark skies … I firmly be­lieve it is a hu­man right to see the night sky.’’

The sci­ence be­hind the pho­tos also played a large part in Stevens’ pas­sion for the night sky.

He has spent time do­ing out­reach to schools on the topic of astron­omy, and even gave an im­promptu les­son dur­ing this in­ter­view.

‘‘It’s just a mat­ter of com­bin­ing my in­ter­ests in pho­tog­ra­phy and astron­omy. I en­joy the chal­lenges of it,’’ he said.

‘‘Our eyes only see black and white but the cam­era sees colour.’’


The fes­ti­val runs from Septem­ber 2-11 be­tween 9am-4.30pm at the Pukekohe Town Hall and Franklin: The Arts Cen­tre.

There are eight cat­e­gories for artists. All art­work is for sale. For more on the fes­ti­val see frankli­narts­fes­ti­ dif­fer­ent

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