Nightfall features a premium workshop on Saturday and free presentations throughout Friday and Saturday. The premium workshop requires a fee, preferably paid in advance. Space is limited but if seats are still available, the fee may be paid at the door.

Information for the 2017 workshop is forthcoming. Please check this space again soon. In the meantime, below is information from last year’s presentation.

Nightfall 2016 — Premium Speaker

Richard S. Wright, Jr.

Richard Wright, software developer, blogger and astrophotographer, will be the premium speaker at Nightfall 2016.

Richard Wright, software developer, blogger and astrophotographer, will be the premium speaker at Nightfall 2016.

Richard S. Wright, Jr. ( joins us for a presentation focusing on equipment selection and best uses. With today’s DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, CCD and CMOS cameras, plethora of mounts and telescopes, knowing where to start or what to get next can be an intimidating proposition. Richard will help you sort it out.

Richard is a Sr. Software Engineer and developer for Software Bisque and often serves as their imaging evangelist at star parties and events around the US.

It’s not just a job… Richard was diagnosed with an incurable case of the imaging virus some years ago. Ongoing treatment takes place primarily in Central Florida or at his dark sky site observatory in South Florida. His images have appeared in Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines as well as many web sites such as Space Weather, Time Magazine, Universe Today, and others. He is also a frequent contributor to Astronomy Technology Today, and has written for Amateur Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and in a past life wrote a best selling book on OpenGL graphics programming.

Richard’s presentation will take place on Saturday, October 29th from 10AM to 4PM with a 2-hour break from 12-2PM. You don’t need to bring anything but feel free to bring a notepad, tablet or laptop to take notes. Please be sure to mute your devices before the presentation begins.

Richard Wright: Aurora over a lodge in Alaska Richard Wright: M31, the Andromeda Galaxy Richard Wright: M42, The Great Orion Nebula Richard Wright: The Helix Nebula

Additional Presentations

In addition to the premium speaker, Nightfall always features several free presentations for all to attend. Arrive early as seats may fill up! The schedule below is tentative. Please get the latest schedule at the hotel when you check in as presenters, titles, and times are subject to change.

Friday at 10:00AM

Alex McConahay: 297 and Counting… The 2017 Solar Eclipse

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is nearly upon us (August 21, 2017). If you haven’t already made travel and viewing plans, now is the time to get on it. Get tips from experienced traveler and occasional eclipse-chaser, Alex McConahay.


Friday at 11:00AM

Daniel Mounsey: What’s New & Exciting to Spend Your Money On

Don’t let his youthful good looks fool you. Dr. D. of Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes ( is a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to telescope and camera equipment. Got a question? Dr. D. will probably have the prescription. Get more info about Daniel on his site


Friday at 1:30PM

Vic Maris: Making World Class Apo Refractors

The refractor telescope has an intriguing history. From its beginning as a simple singlet and little more than a curiosity to today’s nearly perfectly color-corrected triplets and quadruplets, who better to walk us through the refractor’s background, current state and future than the head of Stellarvue (, Vic Maris?!


Friday at 2:30PM

Dustin Gibson: Simplified Image Processing

As part of the new ownership team of Oceanside Photo & Telescope (, Dustin is likely to have a thing or two of interest to tell us! But this presentation will center on the use of Pixinsight, Nebulosity, and Photoshop as a quick and effective means of producing high-quality finished images. Get more info on Dustin and Ginny here.


Saturday at 1:00PM

Don Pensack: Nebula Filters

As owner of EyepiecesEtc (, Don knows eyepieces… but he also knows Barlows, filters, collimators, and the slew of other accessories that go along with visual observing. And, oh yeah, he knows about telescopes too. His presentation will focus on nebula filters including everything from the atomic nature of emitted wavelengths of light to the different types of nebula and spectral matching of filters to your target object.


Saturday evening

Dennis Mammana: Evening Sky Tour

For more than four decades, Dennis has delivered the wonder and mystery of the universe to audiences around the world through his celestial photography, popular astronomy writings, public lectures and workshops, unique night-sky tours and his exciting astronomical enrichment trips to some of the most exotic locations on Earth.


Previous Workshop Presenters

We’ve been fortunate at Nightfall to have the likes of Mike Unsold, Neil Fleming, Warren Keller, Adam Block and many other familiar names join us to share their knowledge and love for astronomy and astrophotography. Checkout the archives page for more information on previous Nightfall presenters.