© Jonathan Kingston / National Geographic / Offset
On a quiet evening in April, 2013, Bend, Oregon-based photographer Jonathan Kingston stands at the summit of the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station in Big Island, Hawaii. As one of the highest mountain peaks in the world, the dormant Mauna Kea, also known as the White Mountain, provides an arresting view of the starry sky, unobscured by the cloud cover that shrouds observatories at lower altitudes.
The observatory at Mauna Kea is home to thirteen state-of-the-art telescopes, making it one of the largest and most authoritative global locations for stargazing. At nightfall each night, visitors to the island can ascend the summit for guided tours through the star clusters, supernovas, planets, and nebulae that sparkle in the night sky.
The White Mountain summit is not only a destination for world-class scientists and astronomy enthusiasts, but it also contains a rich cultural heritage, believed to be a realm occupied by the most powerful of the Hawaiian gods. The remote mountain, sequestered hours away from any gas station, draws spiritualists and astronomers alike to its heavenly heights. When darkness falls, the observatory is veiled in red light that provides visibility while leaving visitors’ night vision unhindered.
This photo and many others from Kingston’s portfolio are available through Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is an exclusive category channel partner on Feature Shoot.