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If you don't feel small, you should.


My wife and I took a little trip with some friends this past week! We went down to Tucson, AZ and just kind hung out! Lots of playin in the pool, lots of good food, and a pretty nice sunburn for me too. The days were hot! And bright. There were many days of no clouds at all. We were just staying at an Airbnb on the top of a hill. It was a nice little neighborhood with lots of stucco and nice terracotta roof tiles. It was quiet! Exactly what we were looking for!


The last night, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. My wife and I sat outside in this quiet neighborhood, sitting by the pool, in the dark. We realized that we could see more stars in the sky than we ever could from our back yard at home. Of course, at that point, I am basically obligated to try to get a cool star pic, because why not? The issue was, I did not even think to take my tripod, which is kind of a problem when you need to have the camera super still for a good amount of time! So, here I am, walking around this Airbnb back yard, trying to avoid a bad step into the pool, and looking for a cool composition that has stars and a cool foreground. I'm trying to use the pool chairs to set the camera on at a good angle, I stick it on a wall with the lens hood propping it up towards the sky, nothing doing. So, finally, I just set in on the ground, pointed straight up to the stars. Focused to infinity. I hit the remote shutter, and 5 second later, BAM! Stars! A lot of stars. All of the colors are real, no adjustments there. I didn't add anything more that what was. No Photoshop, even to remove the weirdly-stretched ones towards the edges from the curve of the lens! Just a lot of stars.


I don't get to see stars like this from my house, and I would be willing to bet many of you can't either. This picture isn't a masterpiece. It's not something I would submit for a competition or a magazine cover. But, I think it's still important. I forget what a sky full of stars looks like, and to be honest, I don't even realize I've forgotten until I see it the next time. It makes me feel small, in the best way possible. I mean, look at all of those stars! Many, many, many, too many to count. And those are just the ones that the camera can pick up! Every single pixel of space in between those stars is filled with stars, too. Every single star, visible or not, with planets of its own, and moons with those planets. I don't know about you, but to me, that thought is pretty mind blowing. And I think that is what is important about a picture like this. It's not some photoshopped, surreal star-scape. It's just a picture of what is right above us, for as long as we live here. I think it is important to be humbled by the massiveness of dark night sky filled with who knows how many stars. It helps balance our perspective, which I would venture to say means more to our happiness than we give it credit for.


So, if you feel like you could use a bit of an ego-balance, maybe just look at this picture? Count the stars, stare into the negative spaces, just bounce around from dot to dot. Meditate on it a bit, let it sink in. It's good for ya'!

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