Josh Davey – Star Gazing

With a passion for the outdoors, Josh is particularly passionate about astrophotography. Gazing into the night sky inspires a sensation of awe and wonder of how beautiful the universe is, and he shares that sensation with us through his compelling captures. Check him out below.


Say hello to Josh:

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Where are you from?  Where have you been?

Originally, I was born in Wellington, New Zealand and lived there for a very short time before moving to Queensland, Australia. I spent the next 18 years of my life there, until finally moving back to New Zealand earlier this year. In my five months here, I’ve managed to see most of the south island.


What’s your favorite place in the world?

My favourite place I have been to would definitely have to be Mt. Cook in the South of New Zealand. It’s the highest peak in the country and one of the deadliest in the world, standing at 3724m high. It’s one of the most recognisable peaks on the planet.

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What’s next on your list of places to explore?

I have quite a few trips planned here over the next several months, some of these places include Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, Nugget Point of the lower eastern coast of New Zealand, and also the West Coast glaciers here. Beyond that, I have a bucket list of locations I dream of being able to travel to, such as Norway, Switzerland, Paris, Rome, Iceland, and at the top of my list, Yosemite National Park in California.


How would you describe your visual style?

I would describe my style of work as evoking a moody type of vibe.


Besides nature, do you find inspiration through other sources?

I definitely find inspiration through of creative people out there – Ben Brown and Dylan Furst to name a few. Second to that, I find music helps me be creative – often when shooting alone, I’ll be listening to music.


Do you get photographer’s block? If so, how do you overcome that?

I get creatively blocked constantly. I find the best way to overcome it personally is to look at some of my favourite images I’ve taken and revisit old work, which is why I have a few of my personal favourites hanging up in my room, so it’s the first thing I see in the morning. There are a few movies that constantly inspire me no matter how many times I watch them, such as The Art of Flight or the Visual Vibes series by Ben Brown.


What sparked your love for travel and being in nature?

I picked up a camera just for fun one day and started to mess around with it. Slowly, I found this whole entire worldwide community of photographers and creatives sharing images of places I didn’t know existed. I think that sparked an epiphany of how big the world is and how much there is to see.


Tell us the significance behind 9nth.

I wish I had a story behind why that is my username, but I made an Instagram one day not long after picking up a camera, and slowly people started to know me by that name and even call me by it, so I became stuck with it.


Tell us about your career.  How did you get into it?

I remember asking my dad if he had a camera I could borrow after being inspired by a few Instagrammers. After that, I used to go into the city every weekend to take photos of whatever I could. At that point, I slowly realised there was a whole local community doing the same thing, and through that, I realised there is a real market for this and a living to be made in this industry.


What types of photography do you do?

Where I’m living now, I mainly do landscape photography, specifically star photography, which has to be my favourite kind. It’s so peaceful and quiet when you’re out there shooting the stars. That 30 seconds while the photo is being taken, you can just look up and admire the stars and how big the universe is.


What was the moment you decided to become a photographer?

I don’t know if I can pick a single moment, but I do know that after I picked up the camera for the first time that photography was going to be a huge part of my life.


What has been your biggest setback as a photographer?

I think funds are a big issue. To become a photographer is like an investment in yourself and starting a business of your own. You need to build your way up from nothing, and professional photography gear is definitely not a cheap thing. To build a reputation to a point where you get noticed by brands is a long and tedious journey, but definitely worth it, nonetheless.


Of the photos you’ve taken – which are your three favorites?

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This definitely has to be number one. I’d never seen stars so bright before in my life. My love for the mountains mixed with my love for the stars makes this my personal favourite.

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Coming in second, I took this photo on my 20th birthday earlier this year. I’d never seen water this blue before. I was smiling like a little kid on Christmas morning. I drove 1000km across the country over 24 hours to capture this image on my birthday weekend. The whole journey to get this photo is what makes it one of my favourites.

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Last but not least, I love this photo because it’s in my favourite place in the country, Mt Cook National Park. As well as the fact I gained some traction on social media from this image.

What’s the best advice you can think of for someone just starting in photography?

Start building your platform on social media immediately. Secondly, find your style of photography – stick to it and build on it. Most of all, post consistently.  


What was your most memorable shoot?

Shortly after arriving in New Zealand, I was sent down to Queenstown with my dad for work on my day job as a data technician – we got to spend four days there. Working one day and exploring the other three, it was very special to me because a trip like that would have cost above and beyond $1000 to fund, and we got to do it for free. I also got some of my best images there.


If you could photograph anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

At the top of my list would have to be seeing the Northern Lights Aurora from Iceland and photographing it. The Icelandic landscapes mixed with that beautiful dancing green glow is just an image that’s been in my mind since before I ever picked up a camera.


Who do you want to give a shoutout to?

I work with a few of my friends (@spurwaya, @jesslowis, @abrocreates) on a magazine – we’re Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest community-based amateur photography magazine, called OzShotmag.


What do you think is the biggest thing holding you back in your photography?

Money, by far, is the biggest thing. To make a living off of photography is definitely the dream.


What photography advice do you wish you had when you were first starting out?

Be patient and make the most of the gear you have. Expensive gear does not make good photos, skills do. Also, don’t be afraid to put your work out there.


What kind of gear do you have?

Currently, I use a Canon 6D with just one lens at the moment, a Canon 16-35mm F/4. Canon is definitely my favourite brand because of the quality, vast range of lenses and bodies, and also the feel of the camera itself.


What’s one lighting tip you’d like to share with other photographers?

Don’t shoot in harsh daytime light. The golden hours of the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are the best times to shoot.


What’s one post-processing tip you’d like to share with other photographers?

Use Adobe Lightroom for all photo editing, and take your time. Don’t rush the edit.


What is your most life-changing event?

I would have to say moving to New Zealand changed my life. It was the biggest challenge I’ve had. Leaving all of my life and friends behind in Australia to pursue a new life and career in another country.


What has photography done for you as a person?  How has it changed you?

It’s gotten me out of my comfort zone, into a place where I’m learning more about myself than I ever thought.


What will you be doing five years from now?

Hopefully, photography full time, that’s the plan.


For anyone that wants to get in touch with Josh, here’s some contact information:

FStop: Profile

Instagram: @9nth

Tumblr: Page


Josh, thank you for sharing your story with us!

If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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