The night sky in 37,440 exposures

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The Saturday morning conference session kicks off with astrophotographer Nick Risinger. He will recount his year-long journey of capturing the entire night sky in unprecedented, true-colour detail and the painstaking process of distilling over 37,000 exposures into one, massive portrait.

Nick is an American photographer and designer living in Seattle, Washington. Originally a marketing director, Nick quit his job in 2010 to pursue the astronomical project that is the subject of his conference presentation.

Criss-crossing the world for nearly 100,000 kilometers in 2010, Nick set up his six cameras in remote regions of South Africa and the southwestern United States, timing photo shoots around the darkest nights of each new Moon. He will tell us about some of his experiences on the way and display the remarkable 5,000-megapixel image that resulted.

For his photographic and design work Nick has received honours from the Advanced Imaging Conference and the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. He has made appearances on Wired, BBC Horizon, Public Radio International’s The World and has shared his story with enthusiasts at Pixar, Boeing, Intel and various clubs and colleges.

Visit his website at for more information and explore the night sky like never before with his Sky Survey app for the iPhone and iPad.