Background

So, just who is that guy creeping around at odd hours in the middle of nowhere?  Well, if the moon's not up, it just might be Jon Kolb, amateur astrophotographer, wandering the backcountry of Colorado in search of dark, clear skies.  

Im originally from Detroit, and after graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, I moved to Colorado Springs in 1984. After 11 years of developing astrodynamics software for a defense contractor, the DoD market stagnated, and I went into the Telecommunications industry, and then worked for a start-up e-commerce software company. After that industry went down, too, I returned to developing astrodynamics software. My very patient wife, Nancy, and I have been married since 1993, and she likes to stargaze while wrapped in a blanket in front of campfire coals.

I dabbled with binoculars as a kid, continued to do so as an adult, and was messing around with a C5 on a flimsy tripod before I first tried astrophotography with my trusty old Pentax K-1000 and its stock 35-70mm zoom lens. My first two attempts Comet Hyakutake from a fixed tripod, and Hale-Bopp from a hand-operated, homebuilt, two-arm tangent drive (barndoor mount) were successful enough to get me hooked.  In mid-1998 I bought the Takahashi Epsilon and Losmandy G-11 mount described on these pages, and Ive been adding scopes, camera bodies, lenses, and other goodies as often as the budget allows. After many learning experiences  involving mistakes, frustration, and wasted film, I achieved my first really decent astrophoto with this equipment in July of 1999 (M8 & M20), and now Im hopelessly addicted.

Astrophotography is a process of continual learning and experimentation, but has rewarded me with satisfying results, great adventures, and the occasional chance to meet great people who enjoy the same challenge.