I have been interested in astronomy as long as I can remember. In 1990 I got my first telescope, a 60mm alt-az refractor. A couple of years later I upgraded to a 100mm refractor on an equatorial mount and in 1995 I got a 10 inch f/5 Newtonian reflector. I still use the optics from this one today, but in 2011 I built a new Serrurier truss optical tube assembly for it.
In 2003 I ventured into the world of astrophotography. I have been taking images with a long exposure modified webcam until early 2012. A lot of thanks go to Steve Chambers for pioneering in the area of long exposure modifications. I have since upgraded my camera to a QSI683wsg which I now use to take all my images.
I grew up in Denmark but emigrated to New Zealand in 2003. I was attracted by the scenery and lifestyle, and the beautiful Southern sky is just amazing.
I am a computer programmer and my familiarity with computers certainly helps in capturing and processing images of the night sky.
My observatory is located in Titirangi in the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland, New Zealand. The sky is relatively transparent here, due to the general low levels of air pollution and high altitude dust in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also reasonably dark since I am bordering a large rainforest reserve and the nearby Tasman Sea.
I enjoy taking images that are unusual in some way, either being of a rarely imaged object, or a familiar object presented in a new way. I like to encourage other amateurs to go off the beaten path every now and then and try to photograph some of the more unusual things. There are many exotic targets like quasars, gravitational lenses, distant galaxy clusters etc. that are imaged a lot less often than the more traditional bright nebulae and Messier objects. And these obscure targets often have a very interesting story to tell.
Let's hope it gets good ones soon!