Astrophotography is generally a race against time to capture as much subtle starlight we can before the stars create trails in our images. The movement of the Earth puts a natural limit on how much sharp, subtle detail we can reveal. We have to use super fast, wide angle lenses and high ISO values to see all the awesome detail. Fortunately a tool exists to circumvent this barrier to reveal more of the hidden magic we have in our night sky.

35mm f/1.4 120s ISO800

This essential piece of gear astrophotographers use is called an equatorial mount, or perhaps more commonly known, a…


A couple years ago I had this realization that I was spending too much of my life in front of a screen. I grew up in the country side of Southern Ontario, Canada and I spent most of my days wandering through forests, walking along river sides and sitting by Lake Ontario skipping stones. I was fairly isolated from others as most of my friends were a good 20 minutes away by car. As I grew older I became obsessed with computers and I dabbled in graphics and gaming. With the advent of the Internet, the digital world further captivated…


A photo essay about a trip to one of the best places on Earth

Last November, as the world around me was starting to freeze, my wife and two children headed west to the sunny California coast. I hadn’t been out to visit my brother and his family for years and with American Thanksgiving coming up, we thought it was an ideal time to go. While there we also wanted to get out and witness some of the amazing natural beauty around the bay area. Not being all that familiar with the local geography, I hadn’t made the connection that…


and now time for something not-so-completely different…

It’s hard to believe that my journey with Grand began almost 10 years ago. Luke and I started our web design business from a living room in Luke’s house and we built it up from there. In the past couple years we’ve been learning that great design is about understanding pains and motivations of people and then creating products that address those points. It’s been a really great experience applying that knowledge and being back on the front lines of making things that work.

At the same time, I’ve been grappling with the idea of scaling a service business. Based…


Searching for a giant in the dark

It was nearing the end of 2014 and I was about to take some time off work for a much needed vacation. The goal was to seek out some of the darkest skies my part of the world had to offer. Being a night sky photographer, the darkest of the dark is also the best place to hunt for elusive deep space objects. The Orion Constellation, for example, is home to some of the most famous and beautiful nebulae that we’ve observed. Where I live, Orion is hidden below the horizon during most of the spring and summer but once…


Part II in my astrophotography series.

If you live in a remote area with dark skies, you are one of the lucky ones; the lucky ones that get to look up on a clear dark night and see a thick band of glowing light stretch across the sky. As a kid I grew up in the countryside of south-eastern Ontario, Canada. On one side I had a corn field and on the other I had a pig pasture. Nights were free from the orange glow of the city and what little light I did see was from the Moon and stars. Being out on those nights…


Part I in my astrophotography series.

Ever since I’ve owned a camera I’ve wanted to take photos of the night sky. When I first got a DSLR camera 5 or so years ago I thought getting decent shots wasn’t very likely with the inexpensive gear I had and it was something best left to the pros. It was only after I became comfortable with the manual mode on my camera that I realized that shooting at night was completely doable. Taking night photos boils down to a single technique called long exposure photography. What that means, in the most basic terms, is you open your camera’s…


The gadget geek’s environmental dilemma

Today was a big day; a day most gadget nerds wait the whole year for. It’s the announcement of the next biggest, thinest, lightest, brightest, gadget-iest smartphone yet, the new iPhone. Over the past 6 or so years us techno-junkies have waited with bated breath for these announcements. All the while dreaming, discussing and pontificating about what the new device would possibly do and how it might blow our minds in ways we couldn’t even comprehend. In most cases the press event itself is crushed by the weight of anticipation created by the droves of passionate fans. …


A fresh set of eyes on a thriving technology sector.

Originally published on WeAreGrand.com

A year ago I was sitting in my townhouse in downtown Toronto focusing on taking my digital design company in a new direction. Little did I know a year later I wouldn’t be sitting in Toronto, but in Cambridge, Ontario instead. When I made the decision to move out of Toronto I was a little concerned from a career perspective. The media surrounding RIM (now BlackBerry) made me question the decision as it was hard not to succumb to superficial presentation. Toronto was a city bursting at the seams with growth and it was a hot…


and what I learned from it.

Originally posted on WeAreGrand.com

Last year I passed a fairly significant milestone in my career thus far. When the date came and went I didn’t even really think about what it meant or what an accomplishment it was. Recently when speaking with a friend of mine I mentioned that I had been self employed for over 10 years. After that conversation I started to think about where I have come in that time. What have I learned and am I better off because of the decisions I made to step out on my own? Through the…

Matt Quinn

Building Design Systems & Digital Products. Exploring and photographing nature. mattquinn.ca, mattquinnphotography.com, @IAmMattQ

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