A patchwork of starry photographs coated the walls of the Shippensburg Arts Programing and Education (SHAPE) Gallery Friday night during the opening reception of Stan Honda’s “STARLIGHT” photo exhibit.
Honda, a New York-based photographer, has worked as a photojournalist for more than three decades, and during the course of those years captured a variety of subjects from behind the lens of his camera.
Some of the topics that he has explored through photography include breaking news, politics, economics and human-interest stories. Honda even documented the distress and mayhem that erupted in New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and these photographs of his have been widely republished.
But lately, Honda has been pursuing other interests by pointing his camera toward the sky, and he gave Shippensburg a taste of this creative and curious pursuit with “STARLIGHT.”
"Since I was a kid I was interested in astronomy, so a few years ago I started experimenting with taking pictures at night of the night sky and they turned out better than I thought. So, I started experimenting with different methods,” Honda said.
The night sky photographs on display at SHAPE were taken around the world from New York City to New Mexico, Oregon, Norway and Australia. Even though New York City is overflowing with artificial light sources and pollution that clouds the view of the night sky in comparison to more dark and remote areas, Honda discovered that the night sky, offers some fascinating things to photograph, regardless of location.
However, to obtain a clear photograph of the sun, moon and stars dancing among each other during the Earth’s daily rotation, Honda said he travels to the north west and places where the hushed lighting and dark skies offer a much different view than New York City.
“One thing that really helped was I’ve been able to do a few of these artist in residence programs at national parks where they select artists who work for two or three weeks at the national park,” he said. “The parks are great places to see the night sky.”
Hidden in the depths of the sky are phenomena and mysteries that begin to unfold before the eyes of sky searchers when the night is lulled with darkness. But not everyone can look up and see the views that Honda has captured with his camera, which is why he shares his photographs with others.
“Where most people live they can’t see the Milky Ways, so I’m hoping that people can see in the pictures what they can’t really see where they live, and that they might be more interested in going out to places and seeing the night sky,” Honda said.
“STARLIGHT” will remain on display at SHAPE through April 28. The exhibit can be viewed during gallery hours from 5–8 p.m. Wednesday–Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.