Dennis Mammana bought his first camera at the now-defunct Easton Camera Shop, using money he earned shoveling snow.
Years later, Mammana has become an accomplished astronomer whose resume includes stints at The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum and The University of Arizona. Yet he still has a passion for photography, especially photographing the night sky.
“"What a crazy pursuit!" he told an audience at the Easton Area Public Library Wednesday night.
"Not only does this produce marvelous photos for the world, but to go out and spend the night with the night sky…this is a passion that only a few of us have. Words won't describe [it]; to see the way the sky moves at night, and to feel a part of it…"
"One People, One Sky" was the title of the lecture and slideshow. Mammana is a member of the group The World At Night (TWAN), an exclusive group comprised of the world's best night sky photographers.
Every seat in the room was taken by budding night sky photographers and those interested in astronomy, like Dave Irvine.
"Nature has always been my favorite image to photograph," Irvine said, "and my eyes have always turned to the sky, sunsets, and the heavens."
He had taken pictures of last month's eclipse, and brought a small reference book to the lecture, which showed the audience pictures taken by Mammana and his TWAN colleagues.
Set against backdrops like Mount Fuji, or Mount Rushmore, or The Great Wall of China, these photos display the stunning beauty of the sun, the moon, the stars, and other phenomena in the night sky.
Mammana has photographed aurora borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) in Alaska, a natural light display caused by the sun's charged particles colliding with chemicals in the night sky. He has also photographed the night sky in conjunction with an eruption of Yellowstone's Old Faithful, and the night sky as seen at Mt. Rushmore.
Closing the one hour lecture, Mammana shared a quote from adventurer Bessie Haley Hyde, an adventurer: "We of the night will know many things of which you sleepers never dreamed."