Gary Lopez is a photographer specializing in nature subjects. His clients have included U.S. National Park Service, Enclyclopaedia Britannica, Ibis Media, and others. In recent years, Gary has focused on astrophotography, exploring the artistic boundaries allowed by the newest camera, filter, and software technology. Recently he was named a Top 100 Trending Astrophotographer by AstroBin, the largest astrophotography community in the world with more than 750,000 users from 220 countries.
Gary is also a film maker. He has written and produced more than 40 documentary films and series, including television programs for Jacques Cousteau and his son, Jean-Michel Cousteau. His programs have been broadcast nationally in the United States, distributed through out Europe and Asia, and have received many awards. In 2006, President George W. Bush cited one of Gary’s films, Voyage to Kure (Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures, PBS), as his inspiration for establishing the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, one of the largest protected areas in the world (Los Angeles Time, June 15, 2006).
For astrophotographers the quality of the sky above them matters. Light pollution and turbulent weather can interfere with making images of the faint objects that populate the sky above us. I’ve chosen to pursue my astrophotography interests here, in Monterey, from a small observatory I’ve built in my backyard at the base of Jacks Peak. There are more accommodating locations for this work, where the light from the city and the coastal Summer fog do not add more challenge to already challenging photography. But I chose Monterey because there are times when the clean sea air is as transparent as glass, and the cosmos seen through my telescope seems close and tangible. In the sky to the south over Big Sur, the Milky Way burns an arc to the horizon and even faint objects glow in black, velvety space. This place is special and my imagery captures the view of the Universe.