Brian saw a lunar eclipse at age 12 and has been hooked on astronomy ever since. His interests have ranged from visual observing, chasing solar eclipses, doing meteor shower counts, timing graze occultations to co-authoring a paper on comets. He has volunteered at national parks, doing public telescope viewing. Always a photographer, he began doing astrophotography once it became easy with DSLRs. In 2013, he moved his rig from Michigan to Dark Sky New Mexico. He loves capturing astronomical events such as planetary conjunctions, asteroid fly-bys and comets. He has sold his prints on metal at various art shows. There are over 20,000 followers of his Instagram account “astropicsdaily.” Recently he has been focusing on public outreach, doing live YouTube and Zoom shows using his DSNM rig. His target audiences have been community college students, STEM high schoolers, public library patrons as well as friends & family who have not yet tired of his schtick. He does these YouTube live shows once a month.
Brian uses a Planewave L-350 mount made just 25 miles from his house. Since he is the “lazy astrophotographer,” this allows him to image without autoguiding or doing any meridian flips. He probably has the worst telescope aboard any Planewave mount in the world: a repurposed dobsonion from Taiwan (GSO 10” f/5 newt). His modified Canon 5DmkIII allows him to do his “Tour of the Universe” shows by taking just 30 second full color images, narrating during the exposure. There are no filter wheels. He created a cooling housing around the camera, which is needed for the warm desert summer.
Brian visited the site back in 2012 and did some all-night time lapse videos, confirming the deep darkness of the Animas sky. Another Michigander was in the process of installing his scope, so Brian joined in the building in 2013.
Brian enjoys escaping Michigan’s horrible winter weather by driving his RV on a big November road trip: visit Wisconsin family and friends, son in Denver, DSNM for a week, then to Phoenix to a storage facility (fly home). In March, he flies to Phoenix and reverses the trip! Of course, the Plague totally messed up his travel. He plans to visit in October.