About Me

 

Welcome!

Well somehow you've stumbled upon my Astrophotography Blog. You may be wondering who am I? What is this blog about? Well, I'll do my best to explain. Quite honestly, I'm not sure I fully know or understand. 

Who Am I? My name is Ernie. My family and I live about 20 miles southeast of Buffalo, NY. My house is located in rural hills, across from a farm. This provides easy access to dark skies. However, proximity to Lake Erie (one of the Great Lakes) often means my skies are cloudy. I have always been into Astronomy, rockets, and space. My childhood room was filled with Apollo 11 Memorabilia. I was 10 or 11 when Carl Sagan's original Cosmos series aired on PBS. My parents and I watched every week. The companion book was a Christmas gift that I still cherish to this day. My local school district had a planetarium and an observatory. My first view of Saturn was through the telescope in the observatory. I can't remember what the telescope was, but will never forget what Saturn looked like. My observing equipment was mainly limited to binoculars and small spotting scopes (like the kind used for target shooting or birding). 

Fast forward to an adult with children. My wife took our kids to a local fossil park, Penn-Dixie, to dig for fossils. The kids loved it. She brought home a sheet of paper with their programs on it. They had astronomy programs. In fact, they would soon be having their annual Mid-Summer's Night Adventure event. The kids could dig for fossils at dusk and then there would be telescopes setup for public viewing. It was amazing. I knew one of the astronomy volunteers (a former colleague). To this point owning a "real" telescope was a future consideration. You know the drill, young family plus house plus vehicles equals no money. A "real" telescope would cost thousands of dollars. No way I could afford that! So I started asking questions to the astronomy volunteers. They set me straight. Pointed me in the direction of a dobsonian telescope. I could afford that. I saved up my money, bought an Orion 8" Dobsonian and my interest in astronomy quickly snowballed into an obsession. I started taking my telescope to Penn-Dixie's monthly public Astronomy night events. The volunteers really helped my learn how to use my telescope. I also found out I have a passion for Outreach. The team at Penn-Dixie introduced my to our local Astronomy club, The Buffalo Astronomical Association (BAA). A few years later, the gentleman that ran Penn-Dixie's astronomy programs "retired". I ended up taking over with another volunteer Jim. Jim is an amazing astrophotographer, (check out his website here). I'm also an At-Large Board Member of the BAA and their Outreach coordinator. 

My journey into Astrophotography has been a slow one. I started taking pictures through my dob with my smartphone. Initially I was amazed with the results. Overtime tried to refine my techniques and equipment to improve the results. The BAA has a small but very active sub-group of astrophotographers. It's amazing how willing they are to share their knowledge and experience. This has greatly accelerated the learning curve. My first purchase was a DSLR, followed by an 80 mm triplet refractor and tracking mount. 

So why did I create this blog? This one is bit harder to answer. Right now (spring 2023),  my purpose is to create more of journal. Looking for a place to provide more details around the images I create to streamline social media posts. This blog is intended for astrophotography. This is very much "under construction".

Clear Skies!

Ernie

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