Bryan fell in love with the night sky when he was 6 years old. It was the summer of 1957 and his family had just moved from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan to a rural farming community called Ortonville. One of the first clear nights he wandered outside shortly after evening twilight and found a sky full of countless stars. Over the western horizon tree line Bryan spied an object that was clearly not a star. He ran inside and grabbed his Father. It turned out to be Comet Mrkos which had just been discovered the day before and had yet to be reported in the newspapers.
This event was Bryan’s inspiration to observe and study the night sky.
In 1985 the upcoming encounter with the Great Comet Halley gave him the perfect excuse to purchase his first telescope, started observing and taking pictures. Bryan was at an event called the Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys planning two expeditions to photograph Comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp when he remembered that his grandfather had what is called a stereoscope. He wondered since he incorporates the foreground into his images and great comets come around only a few times during one's lifetime, why not take his pictures in 3-D? A second camera and set of lenses were purchased along with a stereo bar that holds the two cameras in alignment.
In 1997, he took over 1,500 3-D images of the Hale-Bopp Comet in many locations around the United States.
As a part of the night sky, Bryan has always been fascinated by the Aurora Borealis or also known as the Northern Lights. His first encounter with the Northern Lights was in the 1970's from his parent's house in Michigan. The next sighting was in 1988 when he lived in rural Manatee County, Florida. He received a phone call in the evening from an astronomy friend "Go outside, look to the north, you won't believe it". Bryan headed outside and to his amazement, the entire northern sky, from the horizon to the zenith was an intense red Aurora with a couple of white spikes.
In 2001, Bryan decided to go to the far north to where the Aurora Borealis can be seen nightly. It became clear that a place called Yellowknife which is directly north of Denver and sits at 62.5 degrees north latitude was the best site. Bryan planned three trips to Yellowknife, in October 2001, January 2002 and March of 2002. He also went to Yellowknife in February of 2004 and 2006. History Channel has a series called "Ice Road Truckers" which tells the story of the truckers who travel over the frozen lakes to supply the diamond mines hundreds of miles north of Yellowknife.
Bryan’s images have been displayed in museums and published in various magazines like Astronomy, Sky & Telescope and Stereo World including NASA that used his images in two of their Programs. He has published a high quality 3-D coffee table book on the Aurora called “Prelude Lake.” (www.astro-photo.com)
Most children grow up in an urban environment and never get the chance to experience the beauty of the night sky. Over the last 20 years Bryan has developed a digital 3-D slide show of the aurora called “Prelude Lake” which he presents to schools, museums, etc. This show allows the audience to experience the majesty, beauty and splendor of a remote dark sky at night that includes the Aurora Borealis, Comets, Occultations and Eclipses all in 3D.