California amateur astronomer Tony Hallas is one of the top celestial photographers on Earth. A self-taught photographer, Hallas has captured celestial objects, first on film and then with CCD cameras, since 1987. Along the way, he’s maintained a successful business selling prints of his deep-sky images. In 1992, Tony formed Astro Photo, a small print lab specifically for astrophotographers. Through this outlet, he offered his high-quality processing techniques to others who didn’t have the time to do it themselves. His specialty is making large display prints.
Hallas as pioneered an elite level of color deep-sky astrophotography. Assisting him is his wife, Daphne. Time after time, the carefully produced prints of the Andromeda Galaxy, the Eagle Nebula, or the Pleiades that Hallas churned out invoked one response: “That’s the best image I have ever seen!” Part of that comes from his expertise operating his print lab. Part of it comes from Hallas’ ability to choose interesting targets and to artfully process and present the final images. To preview some of his work, see www.astrophoto.com.
In 2009, Hallas released a 3-volume set of video lectures on DVD called E-Z CCD. And at the 2009 Advanced Imaging Conference (AIC) in San Diego, the AIC board of directors presented its Hubble Award to Tony. The award goes to those individuals who have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to the astrophotography community over a period of years.