I’ve always dreamed about going on a road trip and just taking photos in National Parks. In 2015, after finishing geology grad school, I took the plunge to make that dream a reality and work as an Astronomy Ranger at Mt. Rainier. I drove 3,500 miles from Pittsburgh to Mt. Rainier and stopped at parks along the way. When I was working there I used every free chance to go outside at night, to roam the park and capture the night sky. By August, I had a handful of night sky photos taken in the park.
One day my boss emailed me and said that someone in Washington, DC, was looking for photos of people looking through a telescope. I sent them what I had from our star parties, but they couldn’t use it because I didn’t have a model release. So I just sent them the rest of my gallery of Mt. Rainier, and within an hour or two they responded in all caps, just loving the photo of Mt. Rainier with the star trails and aurora. Within a day they got back to me and said, "Hey, this is going to be a stamp. But you can’t say anything about it until it gets released." My photograph was 1 of 16 selected for the National Park Service stamp release to celebrate their 100th anniversary during 2016.
Before starting my adventure out to Mount Rainier National Park in 2015 to work as an Astronomy Ranger, never in my wildest dreams did I think about having my photo on a stamp.
I am humbled to have this photo selected and hope this inspires folks to get outside and enjoy the night sky for years to come. Resources in our National Parks require responsible protection and we can all become advocates by sharing our park experiences. The parks are treasures that belong to all of us, so please tell a story, take a photo, or simply soak in a National Park!
I created a limited edition collection of 250 stamp prints. Please reach out to me via the contact form if you would like information on ordering a print.