The bio below was shamelessly pulled from Andres' home page and could use further editing.
I have been involved in holography for quite some time. It started back in 1988 when I was in high school and needed to do some experiments for my school science fair week.
At the time, all I had was a small 0.5mW HeNe from Metrologic that my grandfather bought for me after a very intense negation with him :), a limited supply of Agfa Holographic plates and one of the best resources of the time for the amateur holographer, the famous Holography Handbook by Fred Unterseher, Jeannene Hansen and Bob Schlesinger.
The setup consisted of a sand box (as described in the handbook) resting on top of 4 inner tubes and 4 cinder blocks, some mirrors, lenses, Kodak D19 developer and a few other chemicals for development and bleaching (can’t remember the names).
The process was very frustrating at the beginning. After using almost half the box of holographic plates, no hologram was obtained. You can imagine how wonderful it was when I was able to produce my first hologram. It’s a day I will never forget…
I was only able to work with holography for a very limited period at that time and I was not able to do any holography work for 13 years. That all changed in 2003 when I met Michael Harrison. Susan, his wife, works with me and she used to bring Michael’s holograms to the office all the time. It didn’t take long for me to notice that and after talking with her decided to meet him.
Well, suffice it to say, I got hooked instantly. Michael’s setup at his house is impressive and he was more that willing to help me get started again.
This time though, things were a lot easier. First, I have another holographer that lives 5 minutes from my house, the internet, the holography forum for discussing anything holograhic with profesional and amateur holographers all over the world and last but not least, there is e-bay, the best source for equipment, lasers, optics, books, and anything relating to holography.
My current setup is a lot more complex that my first one, it consists of an isolation table top built using a light weight material called Hexcel (a honeycomb material) sandwiched between three layers of steel sitting on top of inner tubes. A pair of 8” parabolic mirrors, spatial filter, magnetic bases to hold components, tons of lenses and mirrors and of course a laser (15mW HeNe).