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 for LunarG where I work on the Vulkan SDK (tools for 3D software developers).
My passion for astronomy (and writing) though has led me to also work in that field for over two decades now as well. I’m a frequent contributor to Amateur Astronomy Magazine, and I’m a contributing editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine where I write regularly for the print magazine and write a monthly blog on astrophotography for their web site.
After a short time at Starry Night, I also worked for nearly two decades (both part-time and periodically full-time) for Software Bisque where I helped write software that runs observatories and amateur telescopes around the world. I got 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 got to travel a lot for Bisque as an imaging evangelist of sorts (so I got to image all over the country!) visiting star parties and events. I still do this for fun and writing projects, and I have my own little dark sky camp/observatory tucked away in Okeechobee county on some property a friend owns called “Starry Nights Ranch”. Our neighbors down there think we are studying aliens… yep… and NO, we are not<g>).
Tools of choice are TheSkyX Professional (naturally), one of the Paramount GEM’s (also, no surprise), 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 profession). When it comes to astrophotography, I’m just about as eclectic as you can possibly be.
Finally, here’s some links to other places you might find me around the inter-webs…