Before the First Photon – Planning the Shot by Robert Arn

Nightscape photography can take some of the most iconic views and present them in a new manner: under a blanket of stars. In this presentation, we will cover some of the methods I use to find locations to shoot (both well-known and hidden spots), tools and techniques I use to collect the data, and an overview of what I look for in my RAW images that guide my post-processing work. Additionally, we will examine some of my images throughout these stages of planning, capturing, and processing. 
About Me: 
Amateur Astronomer, Photographer, Mathematician, Teacher, Researcher, Engineer and more.
Robert Arn has spent more than 10 years in the field of astrophotography. He synthesizes his love for astronomy and photography into the beautiful world of nightscape astrophotography, the art of juxtaposing the Earth with the night sky. Never was a person happier spending long nights on a secluded mountainside beneath a blanket of stars in subfreezing temperatures with a camera in hand.
Robert shares his love of this unique form of photography by his involvement in public outreach. He has hosted astrophotography workshops through AstroArn Photograph and the Loveland Photographic Society and has taught astronomy courses through Colorado State University as well as at a number of outreach events and star parties. He has given numerous astrophotography talks along the Colorado Front Range and central Illinois. Robert’s work has been showcased and published in a number of settings, including NASA’s APOD, URSA’s EPOD, Les Cowley’s OPOD. He has also given talks about the mathematics of image and video processing.
Robert enjoys the challenge of constantly learning new and more advanced photo processing techniques to add to his growing toolbox for astrophotography, drawing from both the skills he has developed in astronomy and those in photography. In addition to astrophotography, Robert received his PhD in Mathematics at Colorado State University in 2016. He currently works as a Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman in Denver/Aurora, CO. His research is in image processing, video processing, optimization, machine learning, large data analysis, geometric data analysis, and large data analysis. When he is not working, he can be found on the side of a mountain or underneath the stars, trying to capture part of this majestic universe.
To see a sample of Robert’s photograph work, please check out his website:

The meeting will be at the IHOP Restaurant, 2040 Ken Pratt Boulevard, Longmont. Please join us for coffee, dinner, or just desert around 6 pm; the general meeting and presentation will begin at 7 pm.

Scroll to top