the world at night; Amazing pictures of the dark sky

the world at night; Amazing pictures of the dark sky

Babak Tafreshi is a National Geographic award-winning photographer and the founder of the two-night project. Over the past two decades, he has captured breathtaking night sky scenes across all continents.

Dark sky Babak Tafreshi was born in Tehran in 1978; He then moved with his family to Boston, Massachusetts. Babak often travels from the desert’s heart to the Himalayas and Antarctica, Wherever the night sky dominates it.

This proud Iranian photographer received the Lennart Nilsson Award in 2009 for his global contribution to photographing the night sky. This award was considered the most prestigious international honor for scientific photography then.

By establishing the “World at Night” ( TWAN ) program, Babak provided a suitable platform for publishing the photos of night sky photographers; This program, which started in 2007, is an international effort to provide stunning photographs of the nightscape against celestial attractions.

TWAN creates and displays thousands of beautiful, fascinating, and realistic night photos and time-lapse videos of the world’s most beautiful and historical places against the night background of stars, planets, and celestial events.

Those who participate in these global programs; learn to see humanity as a united family living together on one planet amid the vast ocean of the universe. The endless sky above all lands looks the same and is a testimony to the unified nature of the earth. This worldview motivates us to work towards a better and more peaceful planet for all the world’s inhabitants.

The night hides the world and reveals the world.

In the following, we will introduce Babak Tafreshi and see some of the most beautiful images recorded by this talented artist fascinated by the dark sky.

(Click on the images to see them in their original size)

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Artists Palette Under Stars
  • Registration date: December 2018
  • Photography location: America/California/Death Valley

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Cold But Crystal Clear
  • Registration date: February 2017
  • Photography location: Iran/ Alborz Mountain/ Alamut Valley

Tafreshi, who had been interested in astronomy since childhood, became fascinated by the glory of the sky in 1991 at the age of 13 when he first observed the moon through a small telescope. He says this:

I can still remember moment by moment that night when I was standing on top of the apartment in the middle of Tehran. At that moment, I couldn’t believe what I saw; It’s incredible how a simple look at the moon can change a person’s life forever. Since then, the night sky has become my second home (as my wife often reminds me, my first home!). I feel peace, joy, and eternity in the starry sky.

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Road to an Astronomer’s Paradise
  • Registration date: April 2016
  • Photography Location: South America/Chile/Atacama Desert, Cerro Paranal

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Caption: Galactic Reflections
  • Registration date: August 2018
  • Photography location: America/California

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Caption:  Grand Teton Grand Galaxy
  • Registration date: July 2013
  • Photography location: United States/Grand Teton

Babak Tafreshi started photographing the night sky in the early 1990s, immediately after buying his first telescope. He gradually realized that his genuine interest is not in telescopic photography but in the night environment and combining the night sky with landscapes, Where he can integrate art and science, sky and earth, and express the connection between the two. He began traveling to places away from light pollution where the natural glow of the night was still preserved, and at the same time, he also recorded urban areas where the night sky had disappeared due to light pollution. The first photographs of the night sky were mainly long, hours-long star trails taken on low-ISO slide films such as Fujichrome Velvia 50 and Kodachrome 64; But a few years later, he was able to photograph other wonders of the night sky, such as meteor showers, comets, and total lunar eclipses.

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo title:  A River of Time
  • Registration date: October 2012
  • Location Photography: USA/New Hampshire

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Hunting Petroglyph and Polaris
  • Registration date: December 2011
  • Photography location: Iran/Esfahan/Timreh petroglyphs

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Clay, Orion, Moonlight
  • Registration date: January 2021
  • Photography location: United States/Cathedral State Park

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Caption: Hoodoo Galaxy
  • Registration date: January 2021
  • Photography location: United States/Bryce Canyon National Park

In March 1997, something happened that turned into a turning point in the entertainment career; Comet Hill-Bopp became the king of the night sky. Hill-bap was bright enough to be easily seen even from large cities. Tafarshi says this:

At 19, I was the youngest editor of Iranian Astronomy Magazine. The photo I took of this comet in the Alborz mountains appeared on the cover of several magazines, which started my photography career.

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Las Vegas Glow From Far Distance
  • Registration date: March 2019
  • Photography location: United States/Death Valley

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Reverse Title: The Reign of Waterfalls
  • Registration date: March 2019
  • Photography Location: Europe/Iceland

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Caption:  Sailing Stones
  • Registration date: December 2018
  • Photography location: United States/Death Valley

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Orion in Zion
  • Registration date: January 2021
  • Photography location: America/Zion National Park

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo title:  A Second of Northern Lights
  • Registration date: March 2017
  • Photography Location: Europe/Iceland

Tafarshi studied physics at the university. He learned a lot about journalism and science communication during his editing career. Still, when it comes to photography, he is mainly self-taught, inspired by the work of two great photographers.

After seeing Ansel Adams’ amazing photo “Tetons and the Snake River,” taken in 1942, I began to study his style and try to emulate it in my way. Another photographer I have been inspired by is David Malin, a British-Australian astronomer, and probably the world’s foremost astrophotographer. He pioneered color photography of the deep universe on film, discovered new mysteries in the night sky, and inspired many of us to do science photography worldwide. Malin has supported us since the beginning as a consultant and member of the Jahan Night Project team.

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Stars Above Belem Tower
  • Registration date: December 2012
  • Photography Location: Europe/Portugal/Lisbon

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Time Traveler
  • Registration date: September 2016
  • Photography Location: Europe/Spain/La Palma Island

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Cosmic Ocean
  • Registration date: January 2020
  • Photography location: America/ Antigua and Barbuda/ Antigua

Tavares explains his photography style:

For me, there are four main elements or values ​​in photography: art, technique, moment, and story. My goal is to use all these elements in a night shot. To preserve the value of the moment and the originality of the image, I mainly do single-light photography; however, many other night landscape photographers, especially the younger generation, prefer to combine photos with different exposures and different focus points digitally. Some photographers even sometimes combine elements of different places with entirely different times. I respect this method as an art form, But I think the momentary and documentary credibility is lost in these images.

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Caption:  Tetons and Snake River, Planet Earth
  • Registration date: June 2013
  • Photography location: America/Grand Teton

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Milky Way Meets Desert Sky
  • Registration date: April 2014
  • Photography location: America/Chile/Lasia

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Stars Above Ahuramazda
  • Registration date: October 2007
  • Photography location: Iran/ Fars/ Naqsh Rostam

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Our World of Shades and Silhouette
  • Registration date: August 2013
  • Photography Location: Europe/Greece/Meteora

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  The Milky Way over Meteora
  • Registration date: August 2013
  • Photography Location: Europe/Greece/Meteora

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Autumn Sky over Greece
  • Registration date: August 2013
  • Photography Location:  Europe/Greece/Meteora

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Billions of Other Worlds
  • Registration date: August 2016
  • Photography location: America/Alabama Hill

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title: Whitewater and Green Aurora
  • Registration date: March 2017
  • Photography Location: Europe/Iceland

Tafarshi considers light pollution to be one of his concerns and says:

The natural night is an essential element in our environment, which is fading due to light pollution in modern society; This hurts the life of wild animals. Deep blue LEDs that are present in many city streets around the world are causing more severe problems for humans. Today, most of the city’s skies are empty of stars. Roughly two-thirds of the human population lives under artificially light-polluted skies that are not dark enough to see the Milky Way. By losing our connection to the natural night sky, we lose the best and most profound relation to our origin and future. Seeing a completely dark sky is an experience we should have; These moments in our life become moments we will never forget.

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo title:  A Starry Night of Germany
  • Registration date: October 2014
  • Photography Location: Europe/ Germany/ Lich

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  The Break of Dawn
  • Registration date: July 2013
  • Photography location: America/Grand Teton

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Pele in the Distance
  • Registration date: August 2015
  • Photography location: Oceania/ United States/ Haleakala National Park

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Colorado River in Evening Twilight
  • Registration date: November 2013
  • Photography location:   United States/ Glen Valley

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Reverse title:  Milky Way in Moonlight
  • Registration date: March 2016
  • Photography Location:  Middle East/ Oman/ Jebel Shams

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Rigel and Orion Nebula
  • Registration date: November 2019
  • Photography Location:  Middle East/ Oman/ Jebel Shams

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Aurora Fine Art
  • Registration date: March 2013
  • Photography Location:  Europe/Norway/Tromsø

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Reverse Title:  In the Arms of the Milky Way
  • Registration date: May 2010
  • Photography location: Iran/ Alamut Castle

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Billions Upon Billions of Stars
  • Registration date: July 2015
  • Photography location: Oceania/  Australia

Photographer Babak Tafarshi

  • Photo Title:  Dark Sun over Ternate
  • Registration date: March 2016
  • Photography location: Indonesia/ Ternit

Another essential secret for photographing night scenes is to be in the right place and time. Knowledge of astronomy and stargazing combined with an artistic vision creates enchanting photographs. A photograph with both a beautiful and a scientific aspect, a beautiful creative image, and a powerful educational tool. In the future, I will add more elements of journalism to my work, combining science and art with journalism.

If you enjoyed seeing these pictures, you could follow Babak Tafarshi’s other works on his Instagram.

***

 Thank you for being with us in this part of Shutter. We will be happy to share your comments and suggestions with us.