Book Review: Celestial Yosemite

Celestial Yosemite Cover

If you are a fan of stargazing, do yourself a favor and check out Kristal Leonard’s Yosemite night sky photography, either via her book Celestial Yosemite, or her blog:

Although the book is slight, it reads like a stargazing hors d-oeuvres, just enough to both curb and whet your appetite, satisfying you and leaving you wanting more.

Three elements to Celestial Yosemite worth noting:

  • The Structure – The book is organized as the most stunning, comprehensive night you’ll ever spend under Yosemite’s heavens, spanning from sunset to sunrise.
  • The Scope – I’m no expert, but I’d guess Yosemite ranks as one of (the most?) photographed places on earth. How could it possibly be presented in a fresh way? Kristal uses her artistic instincts, creativity, patience and a little stardust to present the familiar features of Yosemite as almost an entirely new landscape.
  • The Vision – Kristal’s work addresses a major concern effecting not only Yosemite, but the environment everywhere: the impact of light pollution on nature. However, instead of gloom and doom and guilt and finger-pointing, Kristal transforms light pollution into art, showing the impact of this major concern in a digestible way.

For more on dark skies and light pollution:

Genesis 1:16 (NIV)

16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

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