Featured photographer explains astrophotography

Dave Burgess, Photo by Barb Burgess

Photo by Dave Burgess

Barbara Wilder and Dave Burgess

The SaddleBrooke Photography Club enjoyed the September program presented by one of our members, Dave Burgess, about night skies photography. Most people think taking pictures on a very dark night would be difficult, but as Dave explained it, just follow some simple instructions and you will be pleased with the resulting photos of the Milky Way or a night scene. You will need to use a tripod and set your camera using manual settings for a long exposure, about 20 seconds, for a very dark moonless sky.

I asked Dave for some background information about himself and he said that it would be very short.

“Throughout my childhood I always loved science. I was always taking things apart to see how they worked. During school, I studied chemistry, economics and finance. During graduate school I met my first computer and fell in love. I spent the next 35 years working in Information Systems and Business Analysis. Although I loved my work, about five years ago I decided to see if I had inherited any creative skills from my mom, an artist. I got a camera and headed for the Tetons and Yellowstone. I started with landscapes but over time I have expanded into wildlife, flowers, astrophotography and some more abstract work. The technical part of photography came easy to me, but I had to expand my brain for the creative side. As I take photos, I strive to be more artistic and creative. When I take a ‘bad’ photo I try to understand what went wrong, and when I take or see a great photo I strive to understand what makes it great.”

Dave has entered his pictures in the Arizona Camera Club Competitions and has done well, bringing home a handful of ribbons for his entries. He has led evening field trips for the club to various dark sky areas, like San Manuel or the Tom Mix Memorial and even some sites in SaddleBrooke. It is wonderful to be out in the cooler, quiet, desert night with photography friends, enjoying only the sound of cameras clicking and the distant coyote calls.

Often Dave will bring into the Photo Club’s open sessions pictures of flowers and hummingbirds taken in his own backyard. He participates in our Creative Group where we might have some tabletop set-ups where everyone is challenged to make unique photographs of the objects.

Visit the SaddleBrooke Photography Club in the Agate Room at SaddleBrooke TWO’s Craft Center any Wednesday or Friday morning from 9:00 a.m.-noon to see what’s happening. We show videos and share photos on Friday at 10:30 a.m.