The Advanced Imaging Conference wrap up

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Sunday, October 18, 2015

Software Bisque unveiled its newest mount: a 400-pound behemoth that will carry the biggest telescope an amateur can put on it. // All images: Astronomy: Michael E. Bakich
The Advanced Imaging Conference (AIC) concluded today. More than 350 imagers and manufacturers dedicated to imaging met in San Jose, California, for three intense days of learning, buying, and fun. Saturday was the big day, but today offered the talk “Eight Ways to Intensify Color” by R. Jay GaBany and an interview with noted imager Adam Block by Hubble Award recipient Ken Crawford.

Everyone I talked to agreed: This was a great conference.

The venue was new and easily held the record number of attendees. It also was in the center of the “happening” district of San Jose. That meant easy access to a large number of interesting restaurants nearby. And I didn’t talk to every vendor at the end, but the ones I did chat with said people were fairly free with their wallets.

Whenever I spoke with individuals, I made sure to ask, “What’d you buy?” Answers ranged from $400 focus wheels to $12,000 cameras. I saw lots of stuff passing from sellers to buyers, including filters, guiders, and DVD instructional sets.

David Martinez-Delgado presented a lecture on galactic astronomy to a packed house at AIC. Imagers target these objects, but they also want to know as much about them as they can.
Last night, everyone gathered at a well-regarded Italian restaurant called Il Forniao for the conference banquet. The food was OK, but what really made the time valuable was the company. Each table held 12 diners. Around the one I was at there were three people I knew and eight that I didn’t. So, I got to interface with some strangers, but strangers with a passion I understood.

I came away from the event with commitments from newly discovered imagers to send me their work. Also, by chatting with manufacturers, I now have a better idea as to what new products are coming out and when we can schedule reviews of them.

Indeed, this was a worthwhile trip for Astronomy magazine, which continues to be held in high regard. And after every one of the dozens of times someone told me that, I gave credit where it’s due: to our Editor, David J. Eicher.

Yeah, I still love my job.

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