"The only way to take stars is to take them in photography. Conveying breath-taking wonders of night sky is my supreme mission."
Astrophotographer. Fascinated by the wonders of the night sky, Kwon O-Chul struggled to convey the impression to others through photography. He says astrophotography is a field most influenced by camera technology. Time-Lapse, which captures the movement of stars, are his main field. O-Chul Kwon also tries to move the night sky itself into planetarium through VR technology. He recently produced an aurora movie for planetarium and has been featured on National Geographic and Astronomy Picture of the Day (NASA) and etc.
About / Biography
Fascinated by wonders of the night sky, Kwon O-Chul started taking photo from 1992. After his first personal exhibition in 1996, he has held 6 exhibitions and published 5 books.
Providing pictures to several international media such as National Geographic, he's also provides time-lapse movies to electronics companies as demo video of high resolution TV.
Working as a member of TWAN (The World At Night, www.twanight.org), which is an organization of astrophotographers, He carried out a special project of International Year of Astronomy 2009, designated by UNESCO
When I appreciate your works, I really admire the beauty of night sky. I wonder how you can take these wonderful pictures.
I think astrophotography is conveying beauty and wonders of night sky to other people. That’s why I don’t use telescope. In other words, it’s a picture through human eyes. I want people to feel same as what I feel in front of real stars
What is the most difficult obstacle in astrophotography?
Of course, weather. Weather dominates astrophotography. So I have to wait for a moment that Nature prepares. Sometimes I go to same location more than 10 times because I didn’t catch a perfect moment yet. But one thing most disappointing me is not a weather. It’s when I find that I didn’t do my best.
Honestly, I’ve never seen aurora yet. Please explain how it feels like to see aurora.
As you know, aurora is a natural light produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, It seems static but It’s actually very dynamic. It’s like a dance of lights. The brighter lights are, The faster dance is. It’s called aurora dancing. It seems like piano. But, when it becomes faster, it changes into a substorm, which covers all over the night sky with green and pink lights. Especially pink light shows in most strong aurora, The moment that pink lights shine all over the sky is speechless.
What is ‘Star’ for you?
We can’t have stars like any other normal objects such as animals or flowers. But it is good for me as I know the only way to take it; photography. My dream is making a astrophotography gallery. Making the gallery most honorable place for not only me but all astrophotographers in the world. Then I would live forever with stars even after I'm gone.
Sony A7S II x 5 EA
Sony A7R II
Sony A7R II (low-pass filter modified for Astrophotography)
360 VR rig for 5 Sony A7 series cameras (custom made)
Fulldome VR rig for 2 Sony A7 series cameras (custom made)
Skypix time-lapse dolly & pan/tilt motion controller
Gitzo Systematic GT3531LSV tripod x 2EA
Velbon Carmagne 630 tripod x 2EA