Friday, 4th January 2013
by Stephen Oachs
This ancient circular room is known as a Great Kiva, and it's one of the largest ever discovered. Kivas are built into the ground and are generally believed to be ceremonial centers for regional communities. This particular kiva is thought to possibly have had a wooden structured roof at one time, but it has long since weathered away over the centuries.
The Pueblo, Anasazi and other Indian tribes of the desert Southwest four corners region were highly skilled at observing the night sky, much like the Egyptian and Mayan civilizations. The ancient tribes built their structures, including their kivas, around celestial patterns. This particular kiva is built perfectly aligned with Polaris (the North Star).
In this one-hour exposure, the stars were forever captured dancing through the night sky as the earth rotated as it has through centuries past. With the full moon exactly overhead at 1:29 am, the kiva walls and floor were illuminated, providing an ethereal glimpse of what little remains of this once great and culturally important landmark.
Equipment: Canon 1DX
Stephen W. Oachs is an award-winning photographer, successful entrepreneur and technology veteran who began his journey in photography the moment he picked up his first camera.
Completely self-taught, Stephen's unique and distinctive style has earned him recognition as one of today's finest nature photographers. He was recognized in 2007 as wildlife photographer of the year by the National Wildlife Federation and was awarded best nature photographer in 2008 by National Geographic.
Stephen has received many other awards and achievements. His work has graced the pages of such notable publications such as National Geographic, Popular Photography, Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife Magazine and many others.
In 2009 Stephen founded The Aperture Academy, a unique combination of fine art photography gallery in conjunction with classroom and workshop instruction. Students of the Aperture Academy recieve hands on instruction designed for their individual skill level which includes everything from learning to shoot in the field to digital post processing techniques.
Whether trekking through the wilds of Alaska, enduring the raw challenges of nature or experiencing the thrill of life on the edge, Stephen captures rare and breathtaking moments of light and time. His exceptional eye is filtered only by his passion for life, deep affinity with nature and love of adventure.