This article was published at StepFeed on April 10, 2016

A Lebanese amateur photographer, who goes by the moniker Moophz, has just released a time-lapse video compilation that he had shot between Lebanon and Iceland.

Moophz, who developed an interest in photography and astrophotography almost two years ago, joined the Lebanese Night Collective team, and has since worked tirelessly to develop his shooting skills – mostly at the cost of his own sleep.

Since then, he has relentlessly chased after dark skies, devoid of light pollution, in a bid to acquire the best shots.

StepFeed spoke to Moophz and here’s what he had to say about his adventures.

Source: Moophz
Source: Moophz

Why Iceland?

“The Aurora Borealis of course! Ever since I was a child I had dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights, so naturally as my photographic skills progressed, so did my aspirations. Iceland is a fascinating country both during the daytime and the night … A photographer’s haven.”

Sun Voyager – Sólfar Source: Moophz
Sun Voyager – Sólfar
Source: Moophz

How would you compare Iceland to Lebanon in terms of astrophotography?

“For one, Iceland has darker skies. This of course is due to the low level of light population and the Icelandic people’s awareness when it comes to sustainability and lowering the consumption of energy. In other words, while in Lebanon we struggle to find dark skies, in Iceland it is a much easier task.”

Aurora Borealis – Iceland Photo source: Moophz
Aurora Borealis – Iceland
Photo source: Moophz

Why are dark skies important to you?

“From a photographer’s point of view, light pollution severely lowers the quality of photos. This is especially true when photographers are attempting to capture meteor showers and other astral phenomenon. But it isn’t just about photography, nor should it be the sole cause of any photographer. We’ve heard several environmentalists decry the garbage crisis amid myriad of other issues facing the country; but little do people realize the detrimental effect of light pollution on the natural environment … The dark side of light [pollution] is that it hurts the environment, wild animals and of course humans since the high level of energy required to provide light ultimately reflects negatively back on us, as a population and as a species.”

Zahle, Lebanon Photo source: Moophz
Zahle, Lebanon
Photo source: Moophz

How do you and other night photographers plan to combat light pollution?

“As a member of the Night Collective, I can tell you that the team will begin to raise more awareness about this issue, so stay tuned to our Facebook page to see what we are going to come up with. Also, make it a habit to check fellow astrophotographer Khalil Azar’s page, BeirutVersus, if you’re interested in more information on this particular subject. There is an international organization calledIDA (The International Dark-Sky Association), which works to help stop light pollution and protect the night skies for present and future generations. We hope to deliver their message here on our own turf … It’s absolutely horrific to see how fast the dark skies of Lebanon are diminishing. We go to the most remote of locations and year after year, we notice that even these few remaining places are slowly being swallowed by the effects of rampant and unorganized development, which are driving the night skies to extinction.”

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