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Shawn Nielsen VisibleDark astrophotographerI’m Shawn Nielsen of VisibleDark. This website and my Youtube channel were created for the sole purpose of being able to provide content and videos for you the viewer. To share my passion, teach astrophotography, and show everyone the beauty of the night sky.

I’ve been fascinated with the night sky, stars, planets and deep space objects since childhood. My interest in astronomy only grew and eventually I developed a keen interest in astrophotography. While I had dabbled in astrophotography as a teenager using my 8in and 14.5 reflectors along with a Jack Newton film cold camera and manual guiding (no computer control then!), it wasn’t until 2008 that I took up the hobby seriously again. 

I enjoy sharing the beauty of the night sky with others through my images and created this website,, to showcase my work and love of the night sky. 

Shawn Nielsen circa 1980's
Me in the 1980’s (when I was a teenager) with my Newtonian reflector that I had assembled with help from my Father.

One of my other passions is producing videos and editing them into enjoyable, interesting, compelling and even helpful experiences for viewers. I started my YouTube channel where I make videos about astro imaging deep sky objects, review astro related products and provide tutorials and tips for image processing, particularly using Pixinsight.

One of my goals with the YouTube channel is to give back, pay it forward. It took me a long time to master the art of astrophotography, both acquiring the data and processing it. Along the way I had many helpful people that taught me a lot about the technical aspects, the hobby and the how to. These people were instrumental in me developing the skills and knowledge of astrophotography I have today. And I want to share that with others, new to the hobby or already progressing in it.

Website hosting costs money and maintaining the site requires time. In addition the videos I create take an enormous amount of time to write, plan, film, and edit. I want to make even better and more helpful web content and videos but it’s simply financially impossible to work full time on it. On top of this, astrophotography is a very expensive hobby. Because I create videos and tutorials, I not only need astronomy gear but also video equipment.

I know not everyone can afford to help, but if you are able to chip in $2 or $10 or more it all adds up and will help me to continue bringing you more great content and educational materials on astrophotography and for the astronomy community. Please use the donate with Paypal button above or below to buy me a coffee.  🙂

Thank you and clear skies!

Shawn Nielsen