What Is Light Pollution?

Throughout the interviewing process of the film, I began each interview with a simple question: What is light pollution? It was fascinating to hear all the different perspectives and angles about what constitutes what some cities have begun to refer to as a public nuisance. Now that I’ve begun editing the film together, I created a short montage of the different definitions that people offered that may appear in the final film.

Some weren’t included for whatever reason, but this is, of course, in no way a finished product. This is currently just a potential clip from what will be the final film.… Read the rest

The Effects of LED Screens at Night

I’m often on my computer after dark. As a photographer and filmmaker, a lot of my time is spent processing photos, editing this film, filling in metadata for photos, responding to emails, and many other tasks that I’m sure a lot of you can relate with. As I learned from making the film, however, staring into a brightly lit screen after dark can be extremely harmful to my health, and of course this applies to everyone else as well.

Screen Comparison with and without f.lux

Which one looks more comfortable to stare at?

Multiple people that I interviewed confirmed that light that is heavy in the blue spectrum after dark can have disastrous effects on our health.… Read the rest

The Night Skies Above Flagstaff, Arizona

Milky Way Above San Francisco Peaks

Flagstaff, Arizona is a city known for having dark skies. Every year, throughout the seasons, people flock there to see just how good the night skies can be above a tourist destination. The town has been making efforts to minimize its light pollution since the 1950’s, thanks mainly to the Lowell Observatory, perched just above the town on what’s known as Mars Hill. Because of their efforts, they’ve also attracted other astronomy-based research facilities, such as the Discovery Channel telescope.

Astronomy, however, isn’t just for professionally trained astronomers anymore. The interest in the field is growing rapidly worldwide, and with it, astrotourism.… Read the rest

Utah Making Dark Sky Strides

Milky Way Above Desert Hills

In just the last couple of weeks, Utah has had two of its parks designated as official Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark Sky Association. They were the North Fork Park near Ogden, Utah and Capitol Reef National Park, the latter being well-known for its fantastic night skies, but only recently receiving the official designation.

With more and more media coverage trending toward the harmful effects that light pollution has, and the growing importance of dark night skies, more locations around the world are beginning to embrace the night sky and are reaping the rewards for their efforts. Don’t take my word for it though.… Read the rest

Reclaiming the Night Participant Profile – Julie Pastrick

I knew Julie Pastrick, president and CEO of the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, would be a fun person to have on the film based on her email response: "We’d love to be part of the interview because this designation rocks…" The designation she’s referring to is of course being a certified Dark Sky City by the International Dark Sky Association. And not just any certified Dark Sky City, but the first International Dark Sky City, a sign I saw for the first time on the town’s limits nearly a decade ago that intrigued me, foreshadowing an involvement that I couldn’t have even begun to imagine.… Read the rest

Newly Launched Facebook Page for Reclaiming the Night

Star Trails Over Teton Mountains

I’ve just launched the Facebook page for the movie, which can be found at this address: https://www.facebook.com/reclaimingthenight. I’ll be posting many updates both here and there, so head over there to make sure you’re keeping up with all the latest updates!… Read the rest

Reclaiming the Night Participant Profile – Peter Lipscomb

I had spent nearly a week on the road before even meeting my first interviewee, Peter Lipscomb. By the time I had gotten to Santa Fe to meet him, I had been camping in Dinosaur National Monument, the Moab area, and had even just discovered Bandelier National Monument. Though I had been filming plenty of desert scenery along the way, it was feeling less and less like a trip to film a documentary, causing me to question if I even had the skills or desire to even try.

I met Peter after spending a night in Santa Fe and poking around the area a bit.… Read the rest

Reclaiming the Night Participant Profile – Travis Longcore

Heading to California while filming interviews about light pollution was never on the agenda. More than once though, Travis Longcore, based in USC, came up in conversation with other people I was interviewing. Plus, my girlfriend’s excitement at the prospect of catching up with old friends put Los Angeles on the itinerary with the main goal being to interview Travis since he’s considered the go-to person for ecological consequences of artificial night lighting. In fact, that’s the name of his book.

He and his wife, Catherine Rich, founded the Urban Wildlands Group to speak out against the often alarming effects light pollution has on the animal kingdom, from the smallest phytoplankton all the way up the food chain to apex predators, such as cougars and humans.… Read the rest

Reclaiming the Night Participant Profile – Cindy Luongo Cassidy

I had gotten my interview from Bill Wren and had just gotten out of his presentation when he mentioned that Cindy Luongo Cassidy should be arriving at any minute. I was ready to leave so that I wouldn’t have to subject myself to two straight days of non-stop driving to get to Tucson in time for my girlfriend’s arrival, but at the same time, it would be nice to meet her in person to thank her for the room. I figured that that was the least I could do, so I killed some time to wait for her arrival, but she never did show up.… Read the rest

Reclaiming the Night Participant Profile – Bill Wren

I was already on my way down to Texas as Bill Wren and I were hammering out details for not only where to meet, but also if he was even interested in participating. As I was cruising down a remote New Mexico highway, he asked me about my expectations for the film and what I was hoping to accomplish. After an enjoyable conversation learning a bit about each other, he decided that he was happy to participate in an interview. The timing, however, was developing into an issue.

I was driving down in the middle of the week, expecting to meet him in West Texas at his work place of the McDonald Observatory.… Read the rest