I grew up in Sussex, England, in a countryside peppered with primroses and bluebells, and watched orbiting Sputnik through a small telescope in 1957. This was the beginning of my life-long interest in astronomy.
After a highly successful 26 year technical career in electronic engineering and digital systems, being awarded 7 U.S. patents, and leading the U.S. effort to convert analog television systems to digital, I moved to Arizona in 2004 to pursue my passions for astronomy.
Astrophotography began in earnest for me in 2006 and after a steep and comprehensive learning curve, in 2014 my first images were ready for public display.
My work has been well received and I have been privileged to be a guest speaker at several universities including the New Mexico State University at Las Cruses and Wichita State University. I also give presentations to local grade schools, community colleges, civic groups, and digital camera clubs.
Currently, my work can be viewed at On the Edge Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona. I have also been designated as the “Artist in Residence” at Soho, a work-live community, Scottsdale, Arizona
My deep appreciation of the natural world and my interest in technology has been played a meaningful role in my life since early childhood and throughout my career. When moving to Arizona in 2004, my passions in astronomy, art and technology were all realized in one endeavor – astrophotography.
The appeal of astrophotography … capturing images of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters … are multi-faceted. I enjoy camping out under moonless and cloudless skies in remote locations. The technical challenges and complexity of capturing very dim, dark, and distant deep space objects appeals to my engineering interests and background.
Finally, after the fieldwork, using specialized software, I have many opportunities to make personal, artistic choices as I refine the many “grayscale” images into a scientifically accurate, full color, richly detailed image.
I hope my images capture the energy, intensity and power of the night sky and will provoke questions, especially from children, so they may get some insight into awe-inspiring objects, which our eyes cannot grasp, in the star-studded Milky Way and beyond.
Clear, dark night skies, specialized cameras, telescopes, and mounts as well as sophisticates software are the essential elements to produce quality images.
To compensate for the Earth's rotation, my guide scope provides a "feedback" mechanism to the imaging telescope to achieve sub-pixel tracking which helps ensure high resolution, sharp images.
Since deep space images are dim and distant, long duration, multiple exposures are required to capture enough light.
Typically, my images require a minimum of twenty 15 minute exposures through each of 4 filters. On average, cumulative exposure time is about 20 hours.
The CCD chip in my cameras can be cooled to 50° Centigrade below ambient to significantly reduce thermal noise during very long exposures.
Once the field work is complete. extensive processing is required, using PixInsight™ by Pleiades Astrophoto, Valencia, Spain to reduce "noise" and optimize clarity, color and hue.
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