Hi! I'm Marie Young!

I got my first iPod Touch when I was 4 years old. I kept taking my older siblings cameras and they did not approve. So I took my iPod and would take 100s of pictures every day of everything. I loved being able to capture a story. As I got older I got more interested in photography and would take any class I could. I started entering 4H photography contests on the county and state level. I won a few shows and had photos go to auction. I used that money three years ago to get my first DSLR so that I could capture photos at a Girl Scout convention in Ohio. A year later I found myself getting my second DSLR that could handle sports and lenses that worked for that setting.

I have fallen in love with landscape and macro – and now I'm learning astrophotography .

A friend of mine named Mikah Meyer posted about this amazing opportunity on his Instagram, and after doing some research on Olympus and this program I jumped at the opportunity to apply.

My project works with Girl Scouts of Citrus council and their new STEAM building to help inspire girls to be interested in different career paths in STEAM by sparking their imagination. How can I do this? Space is amazing and here in Florida with the space center looking up can be a way to inspire kids anywhere. With so much light pollution it’s important to take photos of our space to remember how it is and to show what it can be!

To help me with my project, I got the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. It’s a great astrophotography camera with a special Starry Sky Auto Focus that helps illuminate the sky. Along with this amazing camera, I'll be using two M.Zuiko PRO lenses. M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO is a great camera to capture the starry sky. I also got the M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens to get amazing wide shots of the Milky Way.

My project wouldn’t be possible without my great Olympus Mentor Alexa Rakow. After looking at her photos I just knew that I needed her to be my mentor during this project. Everything from the ocean to the sky she can take great photos of them. Just the help she has given so far has helped me so much and I can’t imagine being matched with anyone else.

As I start my project I’m most excited about getting to know the Olympus camera and get to connect with my mentor. Astrophotography is more work than just taking some landscape photos. It takes preparation, patience and some driving to get a great photo.

Starting this project will be a lot of work but also a lot of fun!