Home Astronomy Ghost Ranch Astronomy Experience with Wayne Hicks and Wayne Brasure – G24080203

Ghost Ranch Astronomy Experience with Wayne Hicks and Wayne Brasure – G24080203

Aug 09 – 12 2024

Photo caption: 
Unedited photo by R. Wayne Hicks, July 2023. Milky Way over Ghost Ranch campground. 
15 second exposure with a smartphone on a stationary tripod.

This weekend class is designed primarily for beginners.  We are offering a rich experience for both observational astronomy and basic astrophotography by gathering under the fantastic skies and breathtaking landscape of Ghost Ranch. To this end, we will utilize the Ranch’s high quality 12-inch computer-driven reflecting (Schmidt Cassegrain) telescope. Astrophotography basics will include simple astrophotography techniques with digital cameras, film cameras and smartphones so that after the weekend participants may continue recording their night-time views from other locations where stars are visible. A summary of more advanced topics will be discussed should attendees desire to advance their skills. Attendees may bring their own cameras, tripods, smartphones, etc., however, those who attend without any equipment whatsoever will have all the necessary tools for observing and photography made available during the weekend. Please keep in mind that ideal weather conditions are never guaranteed but “hands on” instruction will be given regardless of any adverse weather.  Additional details will be provided when class registration is completed. 



  • Wayne Brasure
    Wayne Brasure

    Wayne Brasure’s passion for amateur astronomy was inspired by childhood summers spent under the dark skies of northern Michigan. He explored astrophotography as a high school student and purchased his first “serious” telescope after graduating from college. Wayne has undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy, graduate degrees in nuclear engineering, and taught physics and astronomy at the USAF Academy in the early 1990s using the Academy observatory’s 16 and 24 inch telescopes and early digital cameras. He rekindled his interest in astrophotography upon moving back to New Mexico in late 2018 and setting up a backyard observatory. Wayne is excited to share his experiences in digital camera and telescopic astrophotography.

  • Wayne Hicks
    Wayne Hicks

    Wayne has had a keen interest in the skies, since seeing the rings of Saturn for the first time as a teenager and then becoming an amateur astronomer, licensed pilot and Air Traffic Controller. Wayne first experienced the beautiful dark skies of Ghost Ranch in 1982, when he was a participant in a class titled “Exploring the Cosmos.” With Wayne practicing his astrophotography techniques and showing others, the leader of the workshop, Dr. Ron Olowin, asked Wayne to be “on staff” for the course. Wayne accepted and taught astrophotography as part of that workshop every year at Ghost Ranch throughout the 80’s.
    Last year, Wayne experienced digital astrophotography with his smartphone for the first time. Since then, he has learned much and intends to show participants in this class how to easily begin capturing dramatic photos of many types of celestial objects with the camera that’s always in our pocket.
    Wayne’s photo of the Milky Way was taken while staying at Ghost Ranch with just his smartphone on a stationary tripod; nothing else.