As an 11-year old, Dan L. Ward first took “close-up” photos of the moon by holding the family’s Brownie Hawkeye camera to the eyepiece of his Gilbert 3” reflector telescope. The results may have been less than spectacular, but were still sufficient to nurture a love of photography and astronomy that continues five decades later.
While living in Arizona in the 1980s, he refined his film astrophotography skills. Several astronomy magazines published his comets, deep sky and planet photos. Astronomy books also used his images, including David Levy’s best seller, The Sky: A Users Guide.
The demands of fatherhood for two daughters, plus career relocations away from Arizona prompted a 20-year hiatus from astronomical pursuits. Dan continued to refine his photographic techniques by pursuing nature and street photography and has been active in several Northern Virginia camera clubs.
In preparation for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017, Dan dusted off his telescope and cracked the books on recent innovations in astro-imaging techniques. Now exploring the sky with camera lens, telescopes and binoculars, Dan primarily photographs the sun and moon. Having researched a variety of safe filtering techniques, he encourages others to leverage his sometimes hard learned lessons as they prepare for the solar eclipse event of a lifetime in August.
A small sampling of Dan’s astro images can be viewed within his astronomy gallery.