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October 26, 2010

Despite the title, this is not about romance. I’m sorry guys.

Well, this is another #AstronomySunday article.

The best astronomical experiences are in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. That is one great spot for stargazing and astronomical photography. Trust me.

Unexpectedly, I met a cool Korean dude there. After spending a beautiful day in town, all of a sudden there was a Korean dude in my dorm room. He took a year off from everything. Finally! very first Korean cool guy I’ve ever met. We share an awkward day since there was only two of us in the entire hostel. Turns out he was a photography geek just like me! I didn’t take any good camera that time, but he had a very fancy DSLR, I don’t recall the name but it was huge and cool. So we were talking about photography for hours and I’ve decided to introduce him the world of astronomical photography.

Night in Lake Tekapo is seriously dark. They even turn off half of the street lights. It makes absolutely perfect environment for astronomy buff like me. The most amazing milky way I’ve seen, the darkest and the brightest sky I’ve ever seen…. Just wow.


Anyway, so we went out with a tripod, a lantern and his cool, big camera. I taught him from the basic 30-sec constellation shot to long exposure trail photo. But since we don’t have that much time and it was freezing so we’ve decided just try short exposure shots. Started with some easy constellations like southern cross. But you know what? We ended up doing funky stuff and laugh till have some stomach cramps!

I had my cute pen with a little light in front-specially design for astronomy photographers, and we had the lantern borrowed from hostel. While we were doing 30 sec exposure, we literally draw heart, writing letters, making church out of nothing, and enjoying the blessing of digital god. We took probably over 30 shots that night for making the perfect heart shape and the shape of church, for everything.

Literally, I draw heart with a stranger.

Funny thing is I have no idea which constellation we were trying to get. It was one of the tree. Southern cross, Scorpio or Orion. Since these three are fairly famous. 🙂 Oh well….. Clearly we were aiming to something but totally forget about that and just concentrate on making funny shapes with my pen-light. Well, it’s funny!! 🙂 Started with very serious attitude to take some of the great astronomy photography in the best town, but only photo we got is this! And I think this is way better than the one we were trying to in the first place.

Want to see some of our work?

We developed, and took the next level of long exposure shots.

That, is the famous Lake Tekapo church. Recognize?

I think the start behind him is belong to either Orion or Scorpio. Well, not important!!

And of course, there was a crocked heart.

Photography is fun, astronomy is more fun! And more importantly, Lake Tekapo rocks. 🙂

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Giulia says:

    This is too cool!!!
    I love playing with long exposures as it allows to be sooo creative, and this is just the perfect example! Love it:)
    And I sooo want to see the Southern Cross!
    Happy #AstronomySunday dear:)

  2. Such a great read with a unique angle. As a Kiwi girl who has been away from the land of the long white cloud for a few years this touched a soft spot – thanks for bringing memories back!

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