The fascination with stars is as old as mankind and new photography exhibition ‘Earth and Sky’ at the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock looks at the beauty of the sky at night, taking viewers on a journey to the heart of the universe.
The exhibition features a collection of photographs by international astro-photographers, including local star-photographer Nick Howes from the Wiltshire Astronomical Society. The images on show range from stunning landscapes with starry skies above them to close-ups of planets. There are even photographs taken by the Hubble Telescope, capturing the deepest and farthest wonders of the universe.
Roger Watson, curator of the National Trust’s Fox Talbot Museum, explains more: ‘All of the photographs show the beauty and majesty of the stars and our universe. The landscape photographs are fascinating, and the juxtaposition between earth and sky creates mesmerising images and adds a whole new layer to star photography.’
‘Seeing the stars in relation to earth also adds an understanding of scale,’ Roger adds. ‘Star photography ranges from close-ups of faraway galaxies, millions of miles wide, to pictures of the sky as we see it from earth. These pictures become a real reminder of our place in the universe.’
Astro-photographers often pick countryside locations to take their images in order to minimise light pollution. These areas are often inspiring themselves, like nature reserves, deserts, and empty, ghostlike spaces. These stunning surroundings, often untouched from the modern world, become part of the image taken.
Capturing the lights in the sky and freezing them in an image is not always easy. The right equipment, light and patience are all part of the process. Long exposure and change in surroundings also add other dimensions to the image, creating dreamlike compositions which make us see stars as we never have before.
The exhibition runs until 27 April at the Upper Gallery of the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock, Wiltshire. Normal admission applies. National Trust members and children under five go free.
For more information please visit nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock or call 01249 730459.