Yep...this is me, Pat
Freeman, standing outside my "field home", otherwise known as a
Kendrick Observatory Tent. This tent is my home-away-from-home for
week-long astrophotography outings. You can just make out
the Meade 12" LX200GPS telescope in the tent, directly behind
me. This telescope was my primary
astrophotography platform for several years, having now been
retired to public stargaze duty.
Photo Courtesy of
I've been interested in
astronomy since my teenage years in my home state of Ohio. When I was about 12, my
father gave me a 4" Criterion Dynascope reflector he'd won in a
raffle at work, and that telescope introduced me to the brighter
planets, including Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn. I got my
first serious telescope, an 8"
Celestron C-8 Deluxe Computerized
SCT, in 1997, now also retired to public stargaze duty. I can still remember my first night out with
it, and the thrill of seeing the Ring Nebula and M13 through it.
In 2002 I moved upscale with the 12"
Meade LX200GPS go-to
telescope. I added a Televue-85 refractor in 2004.
All three of these telescopes have been used for the older astrophotos you will see on this website.
My latest additions (between 2009
and the Fall of 2013) have been a Losmandy G11 mount with Gemini
II Go-To, and a Celestron EdgeHD 11" optical tube with an Orion EON-80 refractor
as guide scope. I also added a completely new second
imaging rig, a Celestron EdgeHD 8" optical tube on another
Losmandy G11 mount with Gemini II Go-To, using an Astro-Tech
72mm refractor guide scope. In addition, I added a
light-weight imaging rig, iOptron's SkyTracker mount, which I
can use on a photo tripod with any of the three Canon DSLR
cameras (20Da, Hutech-modified 50D, or 60Da) and any of several
lenses, for wide-field unguided photography. All of the latest astrophotos on this website were taken with
this new gear.
I have several
favorite observing / astrophotography sites. One is the
Cincinnati Astronomical Society's dark-sky site in Adams County,
Ohio. One is the
Caesar Creek State Park area in southwest Ohio.
And even though it's an 875-mile drive from my home in west-central Ohio,
one of my favorite sites is the
Chiefland Astronomy Village in
Florida. Most of the pictures you see on this website were
taken at one of these three favorite locations.