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  • Wally Pacholka

Country: United States (US) email:

As a young teenager living in rural Quebec Canada in 1963, Wally Pacholka became aware of the beauty of the night sky while on his daily paper route during the long winter nights. Not wanting to keep this God instilled love of the night sky to himself, he bought a used camera from a pawn shop to showcase to his family and friends what beauty there was to see daily in the heavens above. When the family moved to Long Beach California when he was 16, he was initially sorely disappointed not to readily see the stars as previously in pristine Canada. But as most disappointments are blessing in disguise, he soon discovered the double blessing of witnessing the beauty of the night sky over the equally scenic beauty of America's Great National Parks. Now his American National Park night time scenic images have become his trademark. Creating a business out of his hobby, his work is now sold in countless gift shops in the national park system. His celestial photography earned him TIME & LIFE Magazine's "Picture of Year" honors in their Year End Annual editions an amazing four times. First for his image of the comet of the century, Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997, TIME showcased that event. Then when Mars made it's closest approach to Earth in history in 2003, he earned a second TIME Magazine "Picture of Year" award for his photograph of that event. He followed that honor with a LIFE Magazine "Picture of Year" for another Mars photograph that same year. When Comet Neowise appeared in 2020 as the brightest comet in 23 years, he photographed that comet from 10 locations in 10 days resulting in TIME Magazine again featuring that event with one of his images in their "Year in Review" 2020 edition. Over the years his scenic astro-landscape images have graced the pages of many other international publications including National Geographic, Newsweek, Encyclopedia Britannia and others. NASA's APOD site has selected 47 of his images for their record of celestial events in their well known "Astronomy Picture of the Day" site. Wally Pacholka is delighted to have been given the opportunity to witness first hand and to capture from so many wonderful scenic locations some of the continuous parade of celestial events that appear each and every night around the world. As King David said in his divinely inspired Psalm 19: "The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows His handiwork. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard".