Chiiz
Revelling In The Night Sky Image Credit: Chiiz
Revelling In The Night Sky Image Credit: Chiiz

Revelling In The Night Sky

For over 32 years now, Ajay Talwar has been photographing the night sky and he says that the excitement and thrill of planning the images, that combine celestial and terrestrial objects, hasn’t waned a bit. Ajay travels with all his astrophotography gear all across India, especially the Himalayas, photographing the starlit skies. India is an enormous country of natural and cultural diversity. Through his TWAN (The World At Night) contribution, Ajay hopes to photograph many of India’s heritage under the starry sky. Shivika Garg from Chiiz talks with him and gets to know the tricks of the trade. Here are the extracts:

How did you get into astrophotography and what do you like the most about it?

At first, it was a single photo which had recorded a large globular cluster containing a million of stars. The globular cluster is called Omega Centauri, in Centaurus constellation. I had exposed an entire film roll that night in 1987. The slide film had 36 frames, but just a couple of frames had stars visible in them. The shop where I got the film developed had almost thrown the film in the bin. There was but one frame, which was loaded with stars, Omega Centauri cluster was clearly visible! That was my impetus for astrophotography. It is also the sense of achieving the difficult, because the genre of astrophotography, especially deep- sky work, was not normally taken up by those interested in photography. Astrophotography is quite technical but gives you the satisfaction of shooting something not every photographer does. As I shifted to digital astrophotography, the technical part seemed to get easier, as I was able to review the results instantaneously and improve upon my techniques. My focus then shifted to shooting ‘artsy pictures’, i.e., pictures with elements of the night sky along with elements of the earth such as natural wonders, scenic places, ancient monuments. I was invited to become a member of The World At Night (TWAN) from India. From then on my interest increased in the earth & sky photography. India is filled with ancient, natural and techn


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