Introducing Mark Russell Astrophotography
At the same as the Fran Leitch Exhibition, 25 Kemp Road, Kerikeri
If there is a new moon and clear skies, you will likely find Mark out in the early hours of the morning, setting up a long exposure on his camera, clad in a beanie, scarf, jacket, gloves and head torch.
For countless millennia we have been drawn to the stars, their place in the night sky revealing our place in the universe. With modern advancements in camera technology, this cosmic backdrop reveals itself in glorious detail.
Mark has spent significant time on Great Barrier Island – which in August 2017 became only the 3rd Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world. A Dark Sky Sanctuary not only hosts the darkest possible skies, but is legally protected for future generations from light pollution.
Mark’s photos were used to support this application for Sanctuary status, and have since been published internationally in the Lonely Planet, the Telegraph, numerous Travel Magazines, and are feature photographs in the official Great Barrier Island ‘Sanctuary’ Book.
The collection on display here contains Mark’s most recent work – taken August/September 2017. Whereas many of his earlier images are synonymous with colour, this selection explores the Darkness inherent and physically experienced when looking at the Night Sky with the naked eye.
Mark’s photos all have exposures between 20 and 30 seconds long – enough time to collect light too dim for our own naked eyes to see. The endless movement of the night sky, and Great Barrier Island’s unique geography, give limitless compositional opportunities; changing with the tides, the night, and the seasons.
Mark left the corporate world in 2011, giving up a job as a commercial lawyer to focus on capturing life through a camera. Mark and his wife Sophi run The Renegade Peach Project – which focuses on both photography and videography and works extensively in the NZ music scene. You can view their work at www.renegadepeach.com