Grant Tandy has been emphasizing his photography work during the pandemic. photo provided
Grant Tandy has been emphasizing his photography work during the pandemic. photo provided
Grant Tandy, formerly of Sisters and now living in Bend, is the manager at the Worthy Brewing Company “Hopservatory” in Bend. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hopservatory has not been able to run as usual, so Tandy has been honing his astrophotography and nature photography skills.

Tandy is one of many local photographers featured in a new coffee table book, titled “Ineffable.”

Ineffable is a community photo book for 2020 – ineffable meaning “not expressible; incapable of being uttered or described in words.” All proceeds go to Pledge for the Wild and the Deschutes Trails Coalition, organizations working to preserve the wild places around Central Oregon. The organization Visit Bend made the book possible. The contents of the book were chosen by a photo selection jury of eight locals, prominent in the community. The project was managed by professional photographer Rich Bacon.

After graduating from Sisters High School in 2011, Tandy attended Central Oregon Community College, where his fascination with the night sky and stargazing began. Tandy took classes with Bob Grossfeld, who got him a job at the Oregon Observatory where he learned about telescopes and began shooting astrophotographs of stars and the night sky.

“I try to capture and share views that people don’t normally see,” said Tandy.

Tandy found a niche — dark sky photography — that is unique and stands out.

“I want to see how far I can go with it,” said Tandy.

Tandy’s big goal is to capture night sky views around the world and travel with his photography. The pandemic made that difficult this year, but Tandy still plans to travel.

“I want to capture different communities under night skies and show the world different views,” he said.

Over the summer, Tandy was able to run the telescope up in the Hopservatory with groups of five or fewer from June until November when tighter restrictions were put into place. Therefore, his creative drives shifted, and he went out and decided to capture everything that was going on this year.

“I wanted to capture the important things of this year, the fires, the pandemic, protests, etc.,” he said.

Tandy’s creative process for shooting astrophotos entails a drive out to the woods to spots that he has known since growing up in Central Oregon.

“I drive out and scout out cool spots and take note and come back and shoot it,” he said.

Tandy usually photographs east of Bend and out near Sisters where the skies are the clearest and there isn’t any light pollution.

Rich Bacon, the manager of the creation of the “Ineffable” book, reached out to Tandy personally to submit 12 interesting images for the book that captured aspects of 2020. Tandy is amongst 30 other local photographers that submitted photos for the book. Tandy’s photos include images of the C/2020 F3 (Neowise) comet that was prominent in the Central Oregon sky this summer, as well as images of the devastation of wildfires and also images of the pandemic in the Central Oregon area.

“I was happy to be a part of a larger group of photographers. Everyone involved in the book focused on presenting this year in a captivating way,” said Tandy. “It is sort of a time capsule for everyone to remember 2020 and look back at the photos and remember all that happened.”

Tandy plans to continue his photography and astronomy work. He strives to do more work in the Northern regions of the world, especially the regions that are most affected by climate change.

“I think capturing those areas is important given how much those glaciers and areas are changing,” he said.

Tandy is also working with the International Dark Sky Star Organization — Oregon Chapter, putting light meters around Central Oregon to measure where the light pollution is high, in order to find out how each area compares.

“We hope to eventually expand the network to all of Oregon and get a better idea of what light pollution is and make things more dark-sky approved. Light pollution is the easiest form of pollution to fix, but it has to be thought about at the start and be smarter with city building in the first place,” said Tandy.

Tandy is selling his own photography prints through his Instagram, tandytimes. “Ineffable” is available at a number of Bend businesses including Cascade Cottons, Outside In, Gear Fix, Mountain Supply, Old Mill Ticket Mill, Crows Feet, Latitude 44, Hub Cyclery, Tumalo Kayak, Spoken Moto, Wanderlust Tours, Thump Coffee (both locations) and Backporch Coffee Roasters. There is a $15 suggested donation for the book.

Donate at www.visitbend.com/ineffable/.