The stars are truly like dust; reminded of the book titled “The Stars, Like Dust”, written by Isaac Asimov.
The vastness of the night sky, with the stars behind the stars visible, and those stars behind them and those behind them can also be clearly seen. Captured here in the breadth of the sky, from horizon to horizon, the full Milky Way is presented in grandeur before us. As viewed from the Southern Hemisphere; the Southern Cross is set in the gentle curvature of the Milky Way. A billion upon billion of stars laid as dust in the night sky, with three shooting stars visible and the brightest one pointing directly to the Southern Cross itself.

I recently discovered that Saturn has also been captured in this frame. I had wondered for a while how a yellow ‘star’ could be bigger and more prominent than the Pointers and the Southern Cross, and speaking to a friend he said that yellow stars are in actual fact planets. In researching the time and date of the photograph, yes, there it is; Saturn was there. If you look just above the Southern Cross and a little to the left of the shooting star you will see a bright and large star … there you go, that is Saturn.

I had originally planned to have the Southern Cross placed in the mid section of the photograph, held in composition by the glory of the Milky Way itself. But by the time that I was able to get to a place to shoot this grand vista, it was getting a bit late. If you think of the star movements to that of a clock, as there are twelve months in the year the Southern Cross’ position moves as like the hour hand of a clock. In May at 9pm it is at the 12pm mark, however, in June it moves to the 1pm mark, and so on.

I had planned this shot for over a year, and after a series of testing purchased specialised equipment for it. My first attempt was in May, and then June, this particular frame was captured late July. In the end things didn’t go completely to plan for the Southern Cross was positioned disappointingly too far to the right. But you know, sometimes its nice for Heaven to compose itself on my behalf. The narrative presented in this piece is beyond what I could have hoped for: the Southern Cross is beautifully composed to the right of the frame, with the cloud of stars that make up the core of the Milky Way composed beautifully on the left.

The grandness of the Milky Way has been captured here, and it is beyond my own imagination; I would say that I was helped. Here you have the Southern Cross balanced perfectly on one side and the centre of our galaxy glowing perfectly on the other. This cloud is the nucleus of our galaxy, its called the ‘Galactic Bar’ … amazing. We have shooting stars, Saturn, and layer upon layer upon layer of colourful stars; even more than what can be presented on the final print.

The resolution of the photograph was purposed to be grainless at the 200cm size. This has been achieved. The image is totally devoid of any dots except that of the stars. It is a grand image, especially as how the camera has represented the Milky Way in an amber tone. 

location: Northern QLD, shutter speed: 12 seconds, filters: None, time and conditions: clear skies, limited edition: 360

NB: This image is the only digital piece in the Gallery, and as a digital photograph it came out of the camera with a warm tinge so I went with it. But now in the last several months I have been working to make it available in a more accurate colour balance. So this piece is available with an Amber tone or with a 'NASA' tone.

* When selecting sizes, please ensure to click on 'material' and select either '3mm Float Frame' or '6mm Float Frame'. The typical preferred thickness of Acrylic Glass used is 3mm; providing an attractive light weight finish. However, for sizes 175cm and upwards, 6mm Acrylic Glass is used to ensure a more rigid finish. This 6mm thickness also creates an additional 3-dimensional sense or appearance ... though is a little more expensive.

Please do feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all. Simply click on "Message Us" below or via email / telephone.


Printing and framing:

Limited Edition: Personally signed and numbered limited edition prints, available at standard sizes from 150x48cm, 175x57cm, 200x64cm, 250x80cm, to 300x96cm. Triptych panels are also available, please inquire.

Printing: Printed with pigment inks on silver based 'mirror like' photographic paper, then mounted under Acrylic glass; presenting each image crisp and clear. Most people when first viewing are convinced that they are lit from behind ... with their inherent 'luminosity'. Acrylic glass is a totally transparent material with very little reflection but is also virtually unbreakable. 

Lighting: People often ask if they should instal lighting for the images. And I recommend not to, at least for the first few months. For how the images hold light is simply wonderful. I often refer to them more so as gems or jewels in the way that they hold light. Especially in very low light they become holographic by nature. And the tones shift as the sun rises or sets ... It is very attractive. But if you do wish to install, perhaps highlight just the midsection with a warm tone light.

Float-frame: Provided on the back of each is an aluminium float-frame. This frame presents the photographs off the wall as if it is floating. It is very elegant. Then included is a matching hanging rail that simply is screwed level onto the wall. And interlocks perfectly with the float-frame providing a totally secure hanging system.

Archival qualities: Pigment inks have incredible archival quality. And combined with the acrylic glass, of which is 100% UV resistant, there is no chance of fading or discolouration. The Australian sun is particularly harsh and though I do not recommend continual direct sun all work is guaranteed with a lifetime replacement (as an interior art).

Investment: The Art is presented as a limited edition collection. And once sold out is finished and complete. No longer available. This creates an investment opportunity, with the work continually increasing in value. And together with their timeless appeal and the archival quality ... makes it a most attractive investment.

Deliveries are fully insured and guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition. Domestic freight charges are included. International freight is sent via Federal Express (TNT) and is priced dependant on sizes (please see at checkout); priced from $30 (50x16cm) - $200 (250x80cm). All orders are freshly made. And after printing and signing are then mounted under the Acrylic Glass. Typical delivery times are 3-4 weeks. Please advise if you seek a priority service.

Cleaning: When cleaning, simply use a feather duster. And if necessary, afterwards apply isopropyl alcohol (or preferably 'Mr Sheen') wiping off any marks with a plain facial tissue.

Contact Ric J Steininger Gallery:

Cairns Gallery
Address: Shop 22/1-3 Coondoo Street, Kuranda
(Cairns), Queensland 4881 Australia
Postal: PO Box 12269d, Cairns DC QLD 4870
tel: (+61) 07 4052-1533