My name is Lionel Majzik, I was born in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, in 1992, but my home has always been Tápióbicske, a village relatively close to Budapest. Currently, my life is divided between Budapest and Tápióbicske. Since 2014, I have been teaching at Rózsakerti Demjén István Primary School of the Reformed Church in Budapest. I am a member of the Hungarian Astronomical Association and Hungarian Astrophotographers Association.
I started my studies at the Földváry Károly Primary School in Tápióbicske, where I developed an interest in observing the starlit sky as a result of my physics and geography classes as a 7th grader. We had a pair of binoculars at home and a book on astronomy, which happened to be none other than a beginner’s guidebook. I wiped the dust off these and began to use them. In retrospect, I think these were the days when the foundations of my serious interest in the topic were laid. The binoculars were later replaced by a modest telescope with a 5 cm lens, which allowed me to observe the moons of Jupiter. Before graduating from primary school, my parents bought me a 10 cm lens telescope, with which I could perform serious observations of sunspots and comets. At this time, I was already a member of the Hungarian Astronomical Association as well.
I went to secondary school in Nagykáta. This time, I managed to procure a 20 cm Dobson telescope. This was my main instrument for ten years. I have observed numerous comets and deep-sky objects with it. At this time, I also undertook the management of the Tápió-region Local Group of the Hungarian Astronomical Association: we organised and held several lectures and telescope presentations for the schools and community centres of the region.
In 2010, following graduation from secondary school, I continued my studies at the Szent István University Faculty of Applied Humanities and Pedagogy in Jászberény. This period was not particularly suitable for the active use of the telescope, so I suspended my hobby. What greatly contributed to this suspension was that I had always wished to capture what I see - to show the magnificence of the universe to everyone else. This was not possible while in college, so it remained a “long term objective” for the time.
When I completed my studies in 2014, I started to teach at Rózsakerti Demjén István Primary School of the Reformed Church in the Budafok-Tétény district of Budapest. In my second year there, I managed to launch an astronomical study group. As a result of this, I began to reactivate myself and took out the telescopes again.
In the spring of 2016, I bought my first professional digital camera, a bridge-type Sony DSC-HX300. I took magnificent pictures with it, and finally I also managed to produce long exposure time images and thus could capture the stars. One major problem presented itself though: the camera could not be connected to the telescope and it could not prepare RAW files, so I sold it, after a few months of usage. Then I bought a Nikon D3300, which can be connected to telescopes and can also make RAW files.
The Dobson telescope was not suitable for photography, as it did not follow the apparent movement of the celestial bodies - although I did try to photograph the Sun and the Moon. I sold it in February 2017, and immediately bought a 15 cm newtonian telescope, which I mounted on an electric star tracking mechanism. This marked the coming true of one of my childhood goals: photographing celestial objects.
In the spring of 2017, I prepared my first astrophotographs, with which I spontaneously decided to apply for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, announced by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in the Newcomer category. To my great honour, one of my photographs was found to be worthy of being selected into the best images and to be presented at he Royal Observatory Greenwich.
In 2017, my astronomical study group was no less honoured for a different reason: a third-grade pupil of mine estimated the brightness of a variable star for weeks. The corresponding research work done on this was awarded the 1st Prize in the finals of the Scientific Conference of Researcher Children in 2017. This great success was again achieved in this competition in 2018 with a paired research work about the sunspots - the Hungarian astronomical journal (Meteor) presented an arcticle about our research.
In 2018 I held exhibitions around the country in many places. This summer came the time for leveling up too: I changed from my main equipments to buy better tools, so I could produce even better quality images.
Nowadays I run two study groups in parallel; one for beginners and one for more advanced pupils. My objective is to try to direct the interest of the growing-up generation towards astronomy, as an increasing number of children choose to live in their virtual reality, not making an effort to get to know their real environment.
Having a single lens reflex camera, I gradually grew more interested in a number of areas of photography. In my daylight pictures, I try to make an increasingly conscious use of the opportunities, however my main profile still remains astrophotography. In less than one year I was fortunate to enjoy a lot of astrophotography-related success, yet I think there is still room for development, there are still unbeaten tracks in the future that await me.