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David Magro Diaries 2016

University was my priority coming into 2016 as I wanted high distinctions. I was studying, working nights and photograph the stars at every chance I got. This was the year patience and persistence was learnt as I was able to capture a photograph I had imagined long before.


This image is title "Breathe".

I was on a private workshop at Spoon Bay in March searching for a lone rock amongst the many. Watching the water flow over the landscape, one rock stood out among the others. I watched the Earth rotate waiting for the Milky Way to be visible above the horizon in the early hours. 

After a long "off-season" of the Milky Way not being visible I was enjoying photographing the Milky Way stars once again. This was my first Milky Way photograph of 2016.

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University was my priority and I had few opportunities to capture the stars. I had planned to shoot this location and bring my dog Bonnie along for the walk. She never turns down a walk.

I scouted this location previously ensuring the alignment of the stars was with the boardwalk. Planning is key to night photography as you don't want to miss the right time to shoot otherwise you may have to return next year. After capturing my photographs,  I took a self portrait and a portrait with Bon Bon.


This night I had intense green airglow!

The colours at Norah Head Lighthouse were amazing this night with green filling the horizon. On previous nights there was no airglow and on this night with friends Chris, Megan, Jeremy and Andrew we were rewarded with beautiful shots of the Lighthouse.


I was invited to be a part of an exhibition during Vivid in Sydney at the SPACE gallery. Quite the fitting name isn't it.

This was my first major exhibition showcasing my work. I was nervous as I did not know how to display many pieces of artwork or even what to wear - I wore a Milky Way tie.

The exhibition consisted of well established artists including Gilbert Bel-Bachir and Todd Kennedy. I was the youngest artist among the other experienced people. It was exciting to be a part of. 

There was a door prize with the winner choosing any artwork on display to take home. The winner chose my Milky Way photograph of Catherine Hill Bay. After the exhibition I was also told all my photographs were sold which encouraged me to pursue photography more.


I have had a series of workshops along the beach and wanted to present a new experience. I decided on new location I have wanted to go in a long time - an abandoned mental institute. 


During the day this location is gnarly, but at night it is even more eerie. We walked through the area and captured surreal images peering through destroyed buildings and the surrounds. After, we used the wrecked cars as our subject to capture with the Milky Way stars with. We also ignited steel wool with magnesium for a dramatic effect.


The iconic Long Jetty with the Milky Way stars.

For years I had contemplated this image. Everything lined up but the light pollution was a major issue and timing was key. I had held off capturing this photograph until there would be less light pollution in the sky and for the Milky Way to align - a very specific time fo year. Once the night came, I ventured onto the jetty and was amazed my planning paid off to ensure the image would be at it's best even with light pollution from the Central Coast.


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In 2013, I imagined a photograph of the Milky Way over a field of flowers. I never imagined how challenging it would be to accomplish.

Planning for this photograph began in 2013 when I arrived back home in Australia after living in China for 2 years teaching English to children. When I first captured my first photo of the Milky Way, I began compiling a list of images I wanted to develop. This was just one.
I had scouted many fields but none aligned with the stars or had a subject interest to accompany. It wasn't until I found a heart shaped tree among a canola field that I knew this was the location I was looking for. I got permission and begun waiting for the stars to align.

When September came, I gave myself 4 days to shoot this location when the stars and moon aligned. It was cloudy all 4 days. When the next opportunity arose to capture this image, the farmer had cultivated the crop and this image was no longer possible.

In 2016 I gave myself 2 weeks and I finally was able to capture the image I had imagined. In this photograph you see the alignment of Venus, Saturn and Mars, green airglow, and light pollution centred to give life to the heart shaped tree.



I had two opportunities to showcase my artwork at Acorn Garden and Luminous Dentistry which came to be another great experience displaying my photography. It was two weeks after I had captured "Field of stars" and I was excited to exhibit this photograph.

2016 was a great year for my photography and also my university studies achieving many high distinctions as I had worked long and hard at. From everything I learnt this year, it was persistence and patience which I learnt the most.


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