Russell Croman Astrophotography  



First of all, thank you very much for visiting my online gallery. I receive a lot of email from visitors, and it always pleases me to hear from someone enjoying these photographs as much as I do. (To send me a message, click here.)

I live in suburban Austin, Texas with my wife and three daughters. Many of my photographs were taken from my back yard observatory here. But light polluted skies such as these present severe limitations on the quality of images that can be achieved. So I constructed a new observatory in an exceptionally dark location in New Mexico to address this. I operate everything in the observatory remotely from Austin over the internet.

For my "day job," I am a Vice President of Engineering for a local company, Silicon Laboratories. Currently I'm working on radio chips that receive AM/FM broadcasts in devices like cell phones and car radios, high-accuracy timing chips that keep the internet and cellphone networks working properly, and high-voltage isolation products that are used in electric vehicles and industrial equipment. My engineering background contributes greatly to my work in astrophotography, as this is a very technical art. There are a million little details, all of which have to be right for a photography session to really be productive. Being versed in physics and electronics comes in very handy when it's time to debug one of those details.

I studied electrical engineering at Washington State University, eventually earning a Master of Science degree. While I was there, one of my non-engineering activities included being a news and sports photographer for the student newspaper. It was there that I got my feet wet in photography and gained a sense for composition and the various other elements that go into making a good photograph. Although almost all of my work at the newspaper was with traditional film and darkroom techniques, digital processing of images was just appearing on the scene as well. From my viewpoint as both a photographer and an engineering student, the potential that digital imaging offered was incredible, even with the rudimentary tools we had at the time.

For me, astrophotography is a perfect blend of the very technical and the very aesthetic, both of which I love.

No description of my life would be complete without at least a mention of the real guiding force in it, which is my chosen faith, Scientology. I have been a Scientologist since 1994, shortly after I moved to Austin. Through studying and applying the principles of this philosophy to my life, I have learned what for me has been the most important lesson of all: that the real meaning in our lives is the meaning that we ourselves give it. Scientology provides the means by which anyone can create that meaning for themselves, and expand their lives to bring real help and joy to others.

Thank you again for visiting my site. It is truly a beautiful universe we live in. Enjoy these images, but even better, get yourself out under the stars and see these things for yourself. There are astronomy clubs almost everywhere with members happy to help you see the heavens with your own eyes.

- Russell Croman
Austin, Texas
November 2008