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Inspirations >> Photographer's Showcase Road to the Stars- Part1

The Road To The Stars – Justin Mott Shoots Astrophotography For The First Time

While it is thought of as one of the most technical genres of photography, astrophotography has also been gaining popularity amongst professional and amateur photographers over the recent years. Known for his amazing portraiture and street photography, we get Justin to give astrophotography a go for the very first time and find out his thoughts on his experience.

EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/4, 25sec, 24mm, ISO6400
The tip of Borneo 

It was your first time shooting astrophotography, how did you feel prior to the shoot?

I’ve shot almost every type of photography at a professional level except astrophotography so I was excited to learn from one of the best in the business, Mark Gee.

What were some of the initial challenges you felt were the trickiest to overcome?

Patience, I’m using to bouncing around from one location to another and with astrophotography you have to wait and plan properly. So much planning goes into one shot, that it forces you to slow down and really think it through. It’s almost like shooting film.

How do you feel about the images you’ve managed to capture? Are you happy with them?

So-so, I was more focused on watching Mark work and learning his technique than I was working my style into the images. Once I learn the technique better I’m eager to infuse my style into my astrophotography. 

EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/4, 25sec, 24mm, ISO6400
A lone palm tree silhouetted against a star-filled sky

Have you been inspired to shoot more astrophotography in the future?

Absolutely, like I said above I want to infuse my style into my astrophotography and make it my own. For example, I love photographing people so I want to work out the best way to work them into my frame.

Do you think you’ll be incorporating it into your work?

My business, Mott Visuals, does a lot of resort photography and video production in some amazing places like Vanuatu and Fiji. I wish I had learned these techniques earlier because those countries have such clear star-filled skies so I could’ve incorporated astrophotography into my architectural shots for my clients.

What are your thoughts on astrophotography now that you’ve had a taste of it?

After watching Mark carefully craft his images I have a lot of respect and admiration for beautiful astrophotography.

How did you feel when you saw the first image you captured?

I was more impressed with the camera then I was myself. It was awesome to see all the details and beautiful colors in the sky with the high ISO long exposure shots. The next step for me is to not let the camera do all the work – I’ll need to add my creative side and my style to the images as well.

EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/4, 25sec, 24mm, ISO6400
Light painting the palm tree

Watch the video of how it's done here: 



EOS 5D Mark IV (Body)

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Justin Mott

Justin Mott

Justin is an award-winning documentary, editorial and commercial photographer born in Rhode Island USA and based for over eight years in Southeast Asia. His work has been featured in publications as diverse as The New York Times, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Bon Appetit, Forbes and numerous other international publications.