PILOTHOUSE

Passage Maker - - Contents -

Jonathan Cooper

My col­league Peter Swanson phoned me as I was se­lect­ing my cam­era gear for our trip to The Ex­u­mas this past Au­gust. “We’re tim­ing this trip per­fectly,” he said. “There is a new moon and the Per­seid me­teor show­ers will be hap­pen­ing while we’re there. Bring your tri­pod.” Be­cause it comes with me ev­ery­where, the tri­pod was al­ready packed. But I am not in tune with the phases of the moon, nor do I pay much heed to which plan­ets are vis­i­ble in the night sky. The truth is, liv­ing in a pop­u­la­tion cen­ter like I do, even on clear nights, I am not used to gaz­ing sky­ward.

Luck­ily for us, this trip to The Ba­hamas—specif­i­cally to the re­mote and sparsely pop­u­lated Ex­u­mas—would mean leav­ing light pol­lu­tion be­hind for a few nights. Peter and I took the dinghy to shore in Ward­er­ick Wells, set up the tri­pod on the beach, and snapped a few pho­tos. Well, I snapped a few pho­tos while Peter rested in the bow of the dinghy and ad­mired the view.

There are prob­a­bly a mil­lion things that a pro­fes­sional star-shooter would find wrong with this photo, but to me it was well worth the time spent. And with dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, there is no rea­son not to shoot hun­dreds of frames un­til you get some­thing you like. Who knows, you might just pick up a new hobby.

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