Business

New Waikoloa Gallery to Feature Nightscape, Astrophotography

February 9, 2016, 8:42 AM HST
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Starscape Gallery courtesy photo.

Starscape Gallery courtesy photo.

A new shop is opening at the Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa.

Starscape Gallery, slated to open this month, specializes in fine art, nightscape photography, astrophotography, and space art.

Steve Cullen, owner of the shop and a photographer himself, said an interesting trend is taking place on the island in “astro-tourism.”

“The gallery features nightscape photography, beautiful landscape compositions taken under the evening sky. These could be of places you’ve visited before in daylight, like Pololū Valley, but with the Milky Way, a constellation, or perhaps a moonbow delivering a perspective that can only be captured with a camera at night,” said Cullen. “We also have some amazing astrophotography of deep space objects like galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, as well as stunning space art which is a more traditional artist’s interpretation of space phenomena.”

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Astrophotography is a more challenging and technical process since it’s a different kind of art photo, said Cullen.

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We might take 200 pounds of equipment out, set it up and leave the shutter open anywhere from eight hours to hundreds of hours,” said Cullen. “The telescope, and thus the camera, precisely tracks the sky as Earth rotates to capture the imagery in fantastic colors and clarity.”

Cullen is a retired technology executive from Silicon Valley whose first love was astronomy. In 2006, he moved to New Mexico, built three observatories, and started to do research on astrophotography.

Not long after, Cullen saw the business opportunity in astrophotography and created LightBuckets, the first “online telescope service.” The business was subscription-based and catered to citizen scientists, astrophotographers, and researchers around the world.

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After selling the business to a French company, Cullen and his wife Cindy moved to the Big Island.

“Visitors will be treated to a magical visual experience that inspires one to dream of distant worlds, ponder the enormity of the cosmos, and embark on a journey back to the beginning of time,” said Cullen. “Everywhere you look, there’s a captivating view of distant galaxies, nebulae, stars, and planets or incredible horizon-to-horizon vistas of the night sky from amazing locations around the globe. The familiar takes on an air of other worlds under the infinite light of the universe.”

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