The LICK OBSERVATORY POPUP was produced for December 2007 release by University of California Observatories.

Over 75 photographs were used in the creation of this digital compilation. Although I tried to remain reasonably faithful to geographic and seasonal accuracy (with some exceptions), considerable artistic license was exercised in extracting various subject elements from their original photographs and placing them in a fanciful, over the top, quasi-realistic composition, using the computer “digital darkroom”. In excess of 250 hours of computer time were invested in creating the photomontage, not including literally years of acquiring original source photographs.

Before moving to Mt. Hamilton and becoming a photographer, my career was in miniatures, making wheelthrown Limoges porcelain objets d'art and gallery pieces. Halfway into the PopUp Card project I laughed when I realized that this construction was yet another miniature endeavor—this time a three-dimensional cardstock diorama of Mt. Hamilton. Although it is fundamentally playful and campy in nature, in it are celebrated the unique wonders of Lick Observatory and its environs as I discovered and photographed them during the eighteen years I lived on the summit. 

Design elements were inspired in part by turn-of-the-century Victorian postcard images of Mt. Hamilton and Observatory grounds. Lush, colorful floral border motifs characterize some of the most unique examples produced in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Folded card dimensions:
8.25" x 5.25"

Co-produced by University of California Observatories and Laurie Hatch Photography

© 2007
images and text

© 2007
printed in Canada


Lotus Baker, Director of Visitor Services on Mt. Hamilton, who first showed me PopUp samples collected at a trade show, and encouraged me to make a PopUp card for Lick Observatory. Lotus contributed her creative talent and insight to the design concept.

Maureen McLean, Assistant Director for Business Administration, University of California Observatories, who shared the whacky vision and fun, and fully supported the project.

Roe Shapiro, Operations Manager in the University of California Observatories Business Office, who superbly managed the details of this operation.

Michael Bolte, Director, University of California Observatories, who said YES!! LET'S DO IT!

Dick Treffers, astronomer, and Zdravko Podolski of Amelia Reid Aviation, who were my skillful and accomodating pilots for the aerial photos that appear in the PopUp.

Crystal Goodman, my patient and helpful project liaison, and the talented Staff at Custom PopUps, who collaborated on design and engineering, and who repaired my 11th-hour boo-boos.