Advanced Imaging Conference
2009 Hubble Award Recipient
Tony Hallas

Tony's astrophotographic career can be summarized as a series of firsts. For example, he was one of the first to produce film-emulsion images using an autoguider . Tony was also one of the first to champion the use of stacked astronomical images as a method that improved the final picture's signal to noise.

Tony's astrophotography interest ignited about year after visual astronomy became his favorite pastime, in 1987. Totally self-taught, his education consisted of books, trial and error. He was fortunate to not only have the support of his wife, Daphne, but they also worked together as a team- both worked as photo lab technicians with combined experience of over 30 years.

Tony describes his imaging experience as being like three book chapters. The first chapter involved purely photo mechanical enhancement techniques such as physically stacking negatives. The second chapter involved digitizing film and utilizing many digital enhancement techniques. The third chapter was the use of CCD cameras to acquire 16 bit digital data directly from the sky. Particularly during the early years of digital astrophotography, Tony's pictures were the reference to which digital imagers compared their images.

In 1992 Tony formed Astro Photo; a small print lab specifically for astrophotographers. This enabled him to offer techniques used in processing his work with others who do not have the time to do it themselves. His specialty is making large display prints.

To many in the astro-photographic community, Tony's images remain the first among equals in their aesthetic quality, composition and color. Tony's pictures have been published in countless magazines, television productions and books. He is a highly regarded speaker and the recipient of numerous, prestigious awards.

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