CHRIS PRUZENSKI

Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet. I hope you enjoy the work I’ve posted here. Technically speaking, I shouldn’t call it work since this is not my profession in life; but either way, you’ve landed on this page—hopefully not in error—but intentionally to meet the man behind the curtain.

My name: of course is at the top of the page.
The photo: of course is a face to go with the name.

Writing & Web Design

My sense of humor tends to attack without warning when I write, so a fair warning if you don’t know me well: my humor is not a well-known brand. In fact, it has led to a lot of head scratching in past versions of Pruzenski.com—not what I was going for—so throughout the years that I have blogged, I’ve tried to turn the humor down a notch for any readers that don’t know me well. Right now you probably won’t find any articles to read here—that’s because I’m starting fresh with this new web design (again), which is built more for photography, so the photos and video are the only content I’m keeping. But as soon as I finish importing and re-formatting that material, I will pick it back up since I have always enjoyed writing just as much as I do photography. It will be interesting to see what comes out this time around—my web presence has been growing, so if that keeps up, maybe one day I’ll be able to write without keeping tabs on my humor. Ideally I’d like to write in the style that comes most natural to me… so wish me luck!

Astronomy

When I bought my first “real” telescope in 2011, my interest in astronomy skyrocketed, and it is still flying high today. The cosmos was something that interested me since I was a teen, but owning a decent telescope changes everything. It’s quite an investment, so it brings your interest to the next level, and serves as a tool that allows you to make your own discoveries in the field, instead of watching Discovery at home. Some ASRASnew opportunities came about once I started to learn about telescopes: I was suddenly introduced to dozens of new friends, I developed some additional by-product hobbies (above and below), and now that I think back, the original catalyst that produced Pruzenski.com was owning a telescope.

The scope that I bought in 2011 was an 8-inch Newtonian. I chose it mainly because I could attach a camera body to it, and its specs were suitable for taking photos of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and (my favorite), comets. This form of picture taking is known as astrophotography; which makes me an astrophotographer, as well as an amateur astronomer. I am also an active member of the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science (ASRAS, for short); I have just recently been appointed the Membership Chairperson for ASRAS; I often participate in community outreach events for local scout groups and school groups (under direction of my good friend Joe Altieri). I have organized and worked in astrophotography projects in direct collaboration with professional astronomers seeking data for scientific research; and I have even faced my fear of public speaking by giving short talks to the ASRAS membership—all thanks to my enthusiasm for astronomy.

Photography

As far as photography goes, telescopes served as the first lenses I started using, but eventually I became inspired by the photography of my two talented brothers (Frank and Tom), and started taking photos during the daylight hours too. If it isn’t obvious by the work that I post, my favorite subjects can be challenging to shoot because of the sense of urgency that comes with each opportunity to capture them. My favorite shots all require motivation to get up off the couch on a moment’s notice; quickly gather up all of your gear; load it all into the truck; and then it’s: GO, man, GO! Hurry up or you’re gonna miss it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this without knowing exactly where I’m headed—I usually figure it out when I’m at the end of the driveway and it’s time to decide: left or right?

So you might be wondering: what are these subjects that make me drive around in circles? I’ve put together a few examples for you below—and you can click on any of them for a quick pop-up example too. Yep, I went a little over-board with this:

Crepuscular Rays (Sun Rays);

Crepuscular Rays

Atmospheric Optics (ice halos, sun dogs);

22-degree Ice Halo

Auroras (Northern Lights);

Auroras over Honeoye Lake

Meteors (shooting stars);

This is the best one I have… They’re just too quick for me!

Lightning Storms (thunder storms)

Lightning Storm

So clearly these are all subjects that could be gone in an instant; a decent shot of them always requires a bit of luck; and all too often when you see them, you hear the following reaction: Wow!… Did you see that?… Man, I wish I had my camera! … Wow!

Video

When I do happen to get that lucky shot, it’s become a habit of mine to program my camera to continue taking interval exposures until whatever it is I’m shooting is gone. With just a little bit of practice, shooting these moving subjects can yield you a nice time-lapse video in addition to a great still photo. Most of the moving subjects I chase after turn out to be great subjects for time-lapse video, but the only to tell for sure is if you try. So in my opinion, it’s worth the wear-and-tear on your camera to try a time-lapse of northern lights or a thunderstorm—you may never see northern lights again for years; and you might unintentionally photograph a rare sprite during that thunderstorm.

Sprite Lightning Storm

Watching the results for the first time after you export to video is like opening Christmas presents as a six-year-old kid—you never know how they’re going to turn out, so the result is always a surprise that I watch over and over again. I usually get the most compliments out of videos, so they seem to be everyone’s favorite—especially when I put several of them together as a composition. Have a look at my Vimeo page—the fun that I have producing those videos speaks for itself when you watch.

Regarding what you see here on Pruzenski.com, that’s my simple story of how one hobby led to another. It has been a blast learning what little I have over the last few years, so I’m excited to know how much I still don’t know—leaving plenty to learn in the years to come. By no means can I compete with the pros, but let’s talk a little business anyway: When it comes to my portfolio here on Pruzenski.com, if you are interested in using any of the work you see here, I would be flattered to sell you a royalty-free copy—so please don’t hesitate to ask. There is a contact form below if you’d like to get in touch with me for any reason. If you would like to support me in another way, please share and link some content on my website with others—and please share it often. You have no idea how much website traffic can be worth—it has already opened a few doors for me, so it has potential to lead me to my next part of this journey.

Thanks so much,

Chris