Eye to the sky: why we sell telescopes


A lot of people are surprised when they stop by Atlantic Photo and see the telescopes for sale on the sales floor. We have little telescopes, big telescopes and lots of stuff related to astronomy front and center when you come through the door.

“Whatever possessed you to start selling these?” they ask. Truth be told, for the first few years we had them on display, I asked myself the same question. They weren’t selling very well, they took up a lot of space and they were tying up quite a bit of money that could easily have been used elsewhere.

My first real exposure to telescopes took place when I was thirteen or fourteen years old in Saint John, New Brunswick. I was staying overnight at my best friends house, Steve Murphy (yeah, that guy from CTV News), and his father got out his huge Newtonian scope and set it up in the back yard. I remember how amazing it was to peer through the eyepiece and have the night sky lit up before me.

We were out there for quite a while and just as we were getting ready to pack it in for the night, a meteor streaked across the sky, glowing a vivid bright green – I will never forget it.

Since then, I've had an interest in astronomy and all things to do with space. Prior to getting bit by the photography bug during my senior year in high school, it had been my intention to pursue a career in astrophysics.

So that’s why we sell telescopes – because the passion never went away. When I had the chance, I used that passion to add a new product line to the store. Today, we are the largest telescope dealer in Atlantic Canada.

That’s the way a lot of things happen around here at Atlantic Photo. Someone has a passion to try something new and we all buy into that dream and give it a shot. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not (ask me about my crystal experiment someday).

Failure is just a part of learning and it’s part of business too. But in this case, we're thrilled that our love of far-seeing telescopes has caught on.