When I first arrived in Dumfries and Galloway with my partner Helen, we set up a business called Viridian Skies. Under this name we ran astrophotography tours, stargazing tours and events, and we also sold and exhibited my astrophotography.
Customers enjoying the view at a public stargazing event at the Kirroughtree Visitor Centre
Soon we realised that the ‘Viridian Skies’ was far too ambiguous (not to mention a bit of a mouthful!) So this year we relaunched; the stargazing tours and events are now under the name Stargazing Scotland, and my photography identity, tours, and exhibitions fall under J Beaman Photography.
Despite the relaunch, photography still plays an important role in my stargazing tour business. I capture images of my customers during the event as part of the product so that afterwards they have a souvenir.
One of the benefits of separating my photography from my astro tours is that I can now share a diversity of images. Professionally, my focus is still on night photography. However I have a personal interest in day landscapes, people, wildlife and macro photography. I can now display these images online without having to worry about their relevance to my stargazing followers. I haven't pursued wildlife photography or macro photography since my days at university, but it's something I'd like to re visit for personal reasons if nothing else.
The bluebells are in flower at the moment here in Galloway. Now that I’ve relaunched I can confidently share these images via J Beaman Photography without having to worry about their relevance to my astro tour business.
Whilst my business focus and main personal interest remains firmly after dark, I now feel less trapped by a specific photographic approach. Night photography can produce amazing results, but there are ways to work with daylight to produce results that just aren’t possible to achieve under darkness. Astrophotography opens many doors, but it also closes a few important photographic avenues. Through J Beaman Photography I will share a higher diversity of images online, and I hope that through this my photography in general will improve, resulting in my astrophotography also improving over time.