Astrophotography has advanced so much in the past twenty years, it’s hard to remember when amateur’s used film, or even the first generation ToUCam. Getting the image is important but it’s in the processing where the magic really happens. This year recipient has been producing stunning astrophotos for years. Some of his work is featured on the Astro-Cards we hand out at outreach events. Not only does he produce great pictures he freely shares his knowledge of how he does it with others. There are many fine astrophotographers in our centre but for 2019 the Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award goes to Rick Bramm.
It’s always a treat to see our members’ astrophotography. Abdur has been doing some excellent work with lunar and planetary imaging. I’m looking forward to seeing more of his work!
One of the highlights (in my opinion) of our monthly meetings is Astroimaging Corner when we get treated to some outstanding astroimages captured by our members. As anyone who has tried astrophotography knows, it requires both patience collecting long exposures, and then patience behind the computer. There is an art to producing an outstanding image, without overprocessing. Tom Owen puts in long cold nights collecting the photons, and he has developed a great skill producing tasteful images with excellent colour balance and detail. It is a great pleasure to view his images (as we will later this evening) and to give him this award.
In December 2009, this member took a picture of the Orion Nebula using the SLOOH robotic telescope in the Canary Islands, all from the comfort of his home in Edmonton. The June 2010 issue of Stardust published the image along with an article written by this member, explaining how Centre members could do the same thing and how multiple such images could be combined to bring out details in both the outer regions and the core of the nebula. Thus began an odyssey of using his trusty iPhone to capture astroimages using robotic telescopes and to process the images with the FilterStorm app. Over the years, this member’s images have graced the covers and pages of many issues of Stardust and have been displayed on the dome of this theatre in many editions of Astroimaging Corner.
For demonstrating how astroimaging and image processing can be done by interested people without expensive equipment, just an internet connection an inexpensive subscription, and an image processing app that can be purchased for few dollars, it’s my great pleasure to present the 2016 Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for Excellence in Astroimaging to Franklin Loehde.
I got back into astroimaging in 2007 because of a series of articles that this member published in our Stardust newsletter. At that time, he was already an old hand at imaging skyscapes, many featuring the Moon. Since then, this person has furthered many imaging techniques including timelapses, 3D stereo pairs, 3D timelapse movies, and High Dynamic Range techniques for lunar skyscape photography. He posts the results his of imaging work to various forums and always provides interesting commentary of the image and the trials and tribulations of the techniques involved. He has always been always generous with his time, and sharing his astroimaging knowledge, and offering advice to newby astroimagers. Of late, this person has started writing for our newsletter again on the topic of astroimaging. I know that my own astroimaging has benefited greatly by my collaborations with him over the years. You have all seen his work projected on the dome of this theatre in many editions of Astroimaging Corner. For his many fine contributions to the art and for keeping us well informed on his achievements, it’s my great pleasure to present the 2015 Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for Excellence in Astroimaging to Alister Ling.
Warren is a relative newcomer to astrophotography and has made great strides in his processes and knowledge within. As most of us have seen, his shots show great detail not only of often broken down foregrounds but also the night sky. Warren spends many hours driving and scouting locations, bounding through the snow and being chased by dogs. And the most valuable thing, time, he told me recently, if you don’t sleep as much, you have a lot more time to get things done. Indeed, he is getting things done.
This individual is brand new to the club and already shows great promise with astrophotography. Considering that he does not use auto guiders or laptops for taking photos, but rather everything is done manually and he has only been imaging since October of 2010, the results are amazing. I expect great things from this individual and I am sure the club will be dazzled by his images as he only gets better. The Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for Astrophotographer of the Year is Darryl Aitchison.
This individual has spent countless hours at the telescope capturing beautiful images of the celestial objects out there. His dedication is, in my mind, borderline crazy as he spends most clear nights at some dark sky site somewhere in Alberta in the middle of nowhere imaging, and then goes to work. I don’t know how he doesn’t fall asleep at his desk every day. There is no arguing with the results though. Such dedication easily shows in every stunning image he presents. He has shown his images at our meetings as well as to everyone at the Observer’s meeting every month. Everyone who has seen his images will agree with me that the Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for Excellence in Astroimaging must be presented to Mike Noble.