Photographer to speak on shooting the stars

Apr. 23—MOSES LAKE — Shooting photos of outer space will be the topic of a presentation in Moses Lake Thursday.

Astrophotographer Mike Brady will discuss the techniques of capturing the night sky, the equipment needed and the processing that's needed to make the photos clear at the Moses Lake Civic Center auditorium, starting at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited to the first 200 attendees.

Brady, who graduated from Big Bend Community College, went on to earn a degree in biology from Central Washington University, followed by a career in the army. When he retired, he taught biology at a community college in North Carolina before coming back to Columbia Basin College in Pasco, where he became the director of the observatory. That's where he fell in love with photographing the heavens, he said.

"I took a lot of photography courses when I was in college," he said. "That's been kind of one of my hobbies for quite a while. And then like a lot of scientists, (I) have a lot of diverging interests, and one of them is the night sky. So when I got to CBC and started working with the observatory, it just became natural for me to take my photography and start using it on telescopes."

The technology has come a long way since he first discovered photography, Brady said. Film is mostly a thing of the past; photography is almost all digital, which he said greatly increases what an astrophotographer can do.

"People who are in astrophotography now, because of the digital age, we can bring up images that are almost as good as the Hubble (Telescope). It's really phenomenal what amateurs can do now."

Brady's presentation, hosted by the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center, will include images of galaxies, nebulae, the moon, the sun and comets, according to the announcement on the museum's website. The presentation will be an open forum in which questions from the audience are not only welcome but encouraged.

"If I have time, at the end, what I want to do is actually take a picture that I've already stacked, and then run through the processing procedure to show how the digital age has really brought us to the point where we can do images like we d," Brady said. "Basically what you're after is to reduce the amount of noise that's coming in, like light pollution, and increase the signal from a galaxy that's 40 million light years away."

Joel Martin may be reached via email at