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Babak Tafreshi

@NatGeo photographer posting true single exposures of the universe | The World at Night founder @twanight saving our night sky | Workshop/Print/Book:



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Babak Tafreshi (@babaktafreshi) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by Babak Tafreshi (@babaktafreshi)


The night sky from a dense rainforest in Brazil. Home to millions of species and billions of trees they store vast amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide and produce us oxygen. They are often regarded as the breathing lungs of Earth. As I was on the way home yesterday after a week in Chile, flying over Brazil I was shocked seeing the amount of smoke and forest fires. The massive fires in Amazon that continue for 3 weeks now is more than a sign of climate change. These are not natural wildfires, they were ignited to clear land for ranching and farming. It is a part of a larger man-made deforestation crisis, accelerated by currently dominating far-right governments in South America who favor money-making industries and mines, over most vital natural heritages and the fragile indigenious cultures. ⁣

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

From last night in the Atacama Desert, Chile. A telephoto closeup of the Southern Cross, the smallest constellation in the sky but the most iconic to southern hemisphere nations, appearing on several countries flag. The large dark nebula called Coalsack sits next to it. While details in this single 3-minute exposure through Sigma Art 135mm lens goes far beyond our eyes, swipe to the next photo, a very wide angle view that shows what you can see with your own eyes, but not the colors. Our eyes are almost color blinded at dark but still we see the Milky Way incredibly under such a dark southern sky. The third slide marks the Southern Cross (Crux) in this vast galactic river. I’m on a trip in San Pedro de Atacama, for @luminoxworld. ⁣ ⁣ @sigmaphoto @twanight@natgeoimagecollection ⁣⁣ ⁣

Toronto, Ontario

If you are in Toronto on Wednesday evening August 28, Join me on a public talk on The World at Night photography and behind the scene stories at 6-8 pm in Earth Sciences Centre, 1050 Reichman Family Lecture Hall, at 5 Bancroft Ave. I received many requests from followers in Ontario for an event and this is the first response. The event is free with registration to make sure we have enough seats. More info on my website under public talks: babaktafreshi.com/workshop ⁣ Special thanks to Iranian Association at University of Toronto (IAUT) and my friends Arman Ghaffarizadeh & Ladan Nassiry, who coordinated this. ⁣ ⁣

Reaching for the stars. My silhouette in a single-exposure photograph from Cerro Paranal observatory, Atacama Desert, Chile, known as an astronomer’s paradise. To thank all of you who preorders “The World at Night” book, I’m giving high-quality 4k screen saver of this. Click Email under my profile and send your order confirmation number to receive the gift. To order the book search my name on major online book stores, linked here: babaktafreshi.com/book ⁣ ⁣Published by @quarto.knows, this book is a unique project that comes to life in November. German, French, and Japanese are available to preorder too (and maybe Chinese soon). The large illustrated book includes behind the scene stories and in-depth astronomy information of 200 featured night sky photographs from across the globe by myself and the highly accomplished @twanight team members (twanight.org). This is the most diverse finely selected collection of such images ever published together. ⁣ ⁣

A dark snake in the sky. Can you see on the left the S-shaped dust lane in front of the Milky Way star clouds? Swipe to zoom out and see wider angle views of this area. The tiny dark nebula known as the Snake is one of my favorite gems in the night sky, photographed recently when it was next to the dazzling light of Jupiter. They are like other interstellar clouds, mainly made of hydrogen, but with more dust particles and dense enough to block the light from stars behind them. The Snake is little and invisible to the eye but easy to reveal in this single one-minute exposure through a telephoto lens (Sigma 135mm 1.8), on a small star-tracking mount (Vixen Polarie). ⁣ ⁣The big dark nebula in the second slide is known as the Pipe, visible to unaided eyes in dark sky. ⁣ ⁣@twanight @natgeoimagecollection @sigmaphoto ⁣ ⁣

Equator, A New World View, following stories of life and people around the 40,000 km long line of the equator. I was involved with this 12-part TV series for the episodes about equinox, filmed in São Tomé, West Africa, two years ago. A pleasure to work with the German documentary team of Spiegel TV for @arte.tv @discovery @nhkworldjapan, broadcasted this year in the US and now on Animal Planet channel in Canada, Thursday nights at 8pm local time.

The Big Dipper in Iceland sky. This unusual type of flashing northern lights is known as Pulsating Aurora. Although it’s faster in this timelapse video, even in realtime they shift and brighten in patches every second, rather than the typical arcs and streaks. Auroras are caused by energetic electrons speeding down into Earth’s atmosphere and colliding with the thin air in the boundary of space and our atmosphere.⁣ ⁣On the Earth is the iconic Skogafoss waterfall. ⁣You can join me in 2020 Iceland Aurora Photo Workshops in March or September: ⁣babaktafreshi.com/workshop ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣(link in my profile)⁣⁣ ⁣The soundtrack is Red North by @alirainimusic of tonelabs.com. ⁣ ⁣⁣ @twanight

Streaking across the sky on the peak of Perseid Meteor Shower on the night of August 12-13, one of the most beautiful annually repeating sky events. Swipe to see a timelapse video of this scene from last year in Sierras, California. A sound effect is added to the moments of meteors to better spot them. Those at the end, in morning twilight, are mainly satellites, appearing longer in the video. This year on Monday night the nearly full moon hides away some of the meteors during the peak but still the brighter fireballs will turn on your sleepy eyes! The moon sets near 4 and depending on your position there is about an hour of dark sky before dawn on Tuesday morning when you may see a meteor per minute, if you are far from light pollution. Perseids don’t appear mainly near the shower radiant in constellation Perseus, they can be anywhere in the sky, and more after midnight (Tuesday morning). The shower is active, at lower rate, within several nights of the peak specially Monday morning with an hour longer dark sky between moonset and dawn. ⁣ ⁣Background soundtrack by @alirainimusic. ⁣ ⁣ @twanight

The moon meets Jupiter. A beautiful celestial paring (conjunction) photographed tonight through a 600mm telephoto lens. Zoom in to see the 4 Galilean Moons of Jupiter framed by the passing clouds. The second image is a shorter exposure at lowest ISO to reveal the moon details.

Audio on for the sound of loons (diver bird) recorded during this 20-second exposure, last week on a peaceful lake in Maine, a natural night unspoiled by light pollution that not only vanishes the stars, can immensely disturb wildlife. My family stayed in this renovated boathouse embraced by ambient night sounds, which we are totally disconnected from in city life. I was there for the annual Maine stargazing program AstronomyRetreat.com at @medomakcamp where I give a talk and a workshop. Email me (under my profile) if you are interested to join the 2020 program. @twanight @natgeoimagecollection

William Herschel Telescope

What astronomy has to do with our daily life? The advancing force of science is often our curiosity not our needs and you never know the gift it brings back to our society. Studying stars may appear an absurd field to some who believe science should only invest on stopping hunger and diseases. Astronomy and space exploration have elevated our quality of life in many ways. A recent example, released by Royal Astronomical Society in the UK, is how the computer codes developed to study the formation of stars and planets could be applied to fight against breast and skin cancer which involves millions of lives. Science doesn’t work well in isolation. The apparently irrelevant fields often contribute to each other, immensely. ⁣ ⁣Photographed here at dusk is a large telescope in La Palma, Canary Islands, emitting a green laser to detect and resolve atmospheric turbulence on star images, a technique called Adaptive Optics. ⁣ ⁣ @natgeoimagecollection @twanight

Far from light pollution, the unrivaled joy of stargazing and photography under a natural dark sky. My friend @rogercraigsmith, renown voice actor and hobby astrophotographer, poses for this single-exposure capture through @sigmaphoto 135mm 1.8 incredibly sharp Art series telephoto lens used at wide open aperture to create the bokeh background with out-of-focus stars. These natural color of stars are much more evident when they become defocused or defused. You are looking at the tail of the constellation Scorpius with two prominent star clusters in the Milky Way band, M7 & M6. This is from last month California Nightscapes workshop, an annual master masterclass I do in the Sierras with @mikeshawphotography. Contact me if you are interested to join next year. @natgeoimagecollection @twanight

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