Astrophotographer at large… some people really get carried away with their work!
By training I’m a software developer (computer programmer) with an affinity for computer graphics that started in the early 1980’s, and a love for astronomy that started before I could even read or write. Somehow my career eventually led me to computer graphics programming, teaching (I even taught OpenGL at a local college for 15 years), and then to astronomy as well. Today I work primarily for LunarG where I work on the Vulkan SDK (tools for 3D software developers), and also part-time at Software Bisque where I help write software that runs observatories and amateur telescopes around the world. I get to write a lot of camera plug-ins and other device interfaces which means I have access to a lot of cool astrophotography gear. Well, of course I’m going to make use of it myself – how better to test my code! It’s also pretty cool to have a hand in the development of new technologies for this fantastic hobby and profession. I also have a pretty nice collection of my own telescopes and accessories and also enjoy more traditional terrestrial photography with a DSLR. I get to travel a lot for Bisque as an imaging evangelist of sorts (so I get to image all over the country!) visiting star parties and events, and I have my own little dark sky camp/observatory tucked away in Okeechobee county that my friends and I call “Star Dust Ranch” (and if you Google that, there’s a lot of weird stuff that has nothing to do with us, or is anywhere near us geographically… although our neighbors down there do think we are
studying aliens… yep… and NO, we are not<g>).
Tools of choice are TheSkyX Professional (duh), one of the Paramount GEM’s (also, duh… you saw who I worked for right? Can you say COMPANY CAR!), and I use all kinds of post processing software; both PixInsight and Photoshop, also FITS liberator sometimes, as well as Registax and AutoStackert for lucky imaging. Computer wise, I prefer day to day tasks on a Mac, but also use Windows quite a bit, and even image with a Linux machine or Raspberry Pi (I do cross platform development… again… this is a product of my actual profession). When it comes to astrophotography, I’m just about as eclectic as you can possibly be.