Featuring: Stuart Palley

Presented By

The Los Angeles Times

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UNDER THE STARS encompasses explorations of the American West under the night sky, from moon-filled canyons to remote mountaintops devoid of light pollution.

The images study the wide-open spaces of largely public lands under a color palette different from what exists during daylight and encourage us to approach often-seen places in literally a different light.

The work departs from my TERRA FLAMMA wildfires work in pacing, color, and mood. Instead of the chaos of climate change, they are measured moments under predictable moon and star schedules and places known in advance. Instead of warm tones of firestorms and the glow of flames, the blues of the galaxy and strange hues of artificial light dominate a cooler palette.

The images are a way for me to seek solitude in nature amidst the quiet darkness, a way to convene with the energy of the universe on my own terms rather than the ones of wildfire and climate change.


Stuart is based in Orange County specializing in documenting climate change and environmental landscapes, often at night.

His recent work on wildfires, TERRA FLAMMA: WILDFIRES AT NIGHT, focuses on documenting the most acute effects of drought in California wildfire through long exposure images at night.

Stuart’s UNDER THE STARS work is an ongoing project photographed as a counterbalance to his wildfire work, a way to spend time outdoors without wildfires.

Born and raised in Southern California, Stuart has photographed for National Geographic, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications. His work has appeared Time Magazine, WIRED, and New York Magazine.

He holds a Master’s in Photojournalism from the University of Missouri.

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