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December 10, 2012 / Ginny Banks

“When you know that all is light, you are enlightened.”

Located about 5,000 light years from Earth, this composite image shows the Rosette star formation region. Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are colored red and outlined by a white line. The X-rays reveal hundreds of young stars in the central cluster and fainter clusters on either side.

This was my Yogi tea quote of the day. I was thinking of a former student who models for me on occasion. She double majored in physics and photography.

Here is a quote from Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physicist.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than the atoms in your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about the universe:

You are all stardust.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements (the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, all the things that matter for evolution) weren’t created at the beginning of time, they were created in stars….”

…and then, the photons (particles of light) are released from the surface of the star, and free to cross the vacuum of space. Unless they encounter anything, they’ll keep traveling in a straight line for millions, billions and even trillions of years. When you step outside and look at a star that could be a few hundred light-years away, your eyes are the first things the photons have bumped into since they left the surface of the star!


To examine the way the universe behaved in the past, astronomers look at extremely distant objects, such as supernovae in galaxies billions of light years away. But, how does that work? How can astronomers look out into space and see the universe back in time? The answer lies in the speed of light. Light waves move very fast, about 186,000 miles per second (300,000 km/s). Light moves so fast that as you go about your daily life, it appears to travel instantaneously from one place to another. For example, it takes only a few billionths of a second for light to travel across your bedroom when you turn on a lamp. In space, however, the distances are so immense that the time that light takes to travel is noticeable.


So, how does this relate to photography? Light is the most important part of every photograph we take. It’s what creates everything we see and affects how it will appear. Understanding a little bit about light will inform our photography.



Leave a Comment
  1. Seacat / Dec 11 2012 5:37 pm

    Awesome, what beautiful poetry the universe is!

  2. Dickey / Dec 12 2012 12:16 am

    I learned so much from yr blog!

  3. Tom Banks / Dec 12 2012 6:05 pm

    Ginny NICE blog. I want to capture certain light but I’m sure both my camera and my abilities aren’t up to the task. Just the same, I do what I can. I use my camera and my phone to document my life, my work, and sometimes my FOOD! Hope my love for all the above shines thru in my pix. I’m also on Instagram as ricochetrider.

  4. kelsimad / Dec 12 2012 7:41 pm

    Nice intro Ginny. I’m looking forward to seeing your work. ~Keli

  5. Rosalyn / Dec 15 2012 11:08 pm

    Beautiful, Ginny, the quote and the new site! – Rosalyn

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