By Gabby Christensen
For Blake Trombley of Albion, exploring has always been an essential part of his life.
Trombley, who grew up questioning nearly everything, finds joy in discovery and learning.
Recently, he embarked on a new exploratory journey involving astrophotography.
“It all started after I became more intrigued by cosmology and astrophysics,” Trombley said. “I loved photography and decided that I could capture astrophotography at home.”
So, Trombley purchased equipment and set out on a trial and error process.
With his specially designed telescope and tripod, Trombley is able to track objects in the sky.
Last year, Trombley began utilizing a wide angle approach.
He also utilizes long exposure to avoid streaking and then edits the images in Adobe Lightroom, stacking the images to capture the photos.
Trombley travels several miles outside of Albion to avoid light pollution.
“The best time for shooting is during the new moon cycle, which typically occurs during the beginning and end of the month,” Trombley said. “That’s when you’ll catch me out on the side of the road taking these photos.”
With astrophotography, Trombley said it allows him to see the sky in a completely different way.
“It gives you a great appreciation of just how large the universe really is,” Trombley said. “It makes you think about things in a completely different perspective. This tiny interest of mine has branched out into the rest of my life and made me question so many other things, especially my own impact and existence on the planet.”
In addition to astrophotography, Trombley also enjoys capturing landscapes, nightscapes and nature shots.
Through his photography, Trombley said he hopes people catch a glimpse of what he sees.
“I really hope people enjoy the photos,” Trombley said. “I want these images to evoke a sense of wonder. There’s always something new to learn, and maybe others will become interested in astrophotography or start exploring other interests.”
Trombley, who moved to the Albion area a few years ago, works part time as a para educator substitute and is currently finishing his degree in behavioral science.
After graduating in June, he hopes to continue to work in the realm of public education.
When Trombley isn’t working, studying, taking care of his family or shooting photography, he finds time to volunteer with TeamMates Mentoring and also serves as a board member for the Boone County Historical Society.
Looking ahead to the summer, Trombley has goals to focus on seven specific objects in the sky.
He also hopes to further develop his database and organize his work.
In the long run, he hopes his photographs will encourage others to pursue their own interests instead of worrying about what others think.
“Do things for the love of doing it,” Trombley said. “Find out who you are and follow your passions. These are the things that keep us young and excited about life.”
By Gabby Christensen