Item description for Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos by Stefan Seip, Josh Ellenbogen, Elizabeth Tiernan, J. R. Foster, Adrian Walker, Randy Thompson, Frances F. Berdan & Gerard S. Sloyan...
At first glance, the challenge of astrophotography may appear daunting. But not only are spectacular results possible, they are easy to learn with the step-by-step instructions provided in Stephan Seip's "Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos," Today, amateurs can produce images that only twenty years ago a large professional observatory would have been proud of; and this book shows you how.
Learn how to: Set up your camera for optimum results Focus your camera for razor-sharp images Take beautiful night shots with a simple compact digital camera, a tripod, and a telescope Use a DSLR camera to shoot the Sun, Moon, stars, star clusters, and nebulae through your telescope Get brilliant images of planets with a Webcam Capture remote galaxies with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera just like a pro
Also included are lessons on the processing that is done in the "studio" after your shoot, including how to: Shoot RAW format images and improve them with calibration frames Take short exposures of faint deep-sky objects and combine them into a longer exposure Perform brightness, contrast, and color correction Make corrections to correct for vignetting and uneven field illumination Process your images for stunning results
Equipment requirements for astrophotography range from nothing but a simple camera and tripod to a multi-thousand dollar computer controlled telescope equipped with a CCD auto-guider and separate guide-scope. Researching the best equipment for your needs is a task in itself. Seip helps you to sort out which cameras are best for the various celestial objects, what to look for when buying a camera, and what accessories you really need.
Therewards of this fascinating hobby, as the author says, "Grants you unforgettable hours under the night sky; it allows you to produce aesthetically rewarding and lasting results. Astrophotography is a love-match between physics, photography, art, and digital image processing. It is exciting!"
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 8" Height: 10.25" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2007
Publisher Rocky Nook
ISBN 1933952164 ISBN13 9781933952161
Availability 0 units.
More About Stefan Seip, Josh Ellenbogen, Elizabeth Tiernan, J. R. Foster, Adrian Walker, Randy Thompson, Frances F. Berdan & Gerard S. Sloyan
Reviews - What do customers think about Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos?
Disjointed with only very general information. May 9, 2008
I am relatively new to the hobby of astrophotography, however, I've done a lot of research online through astrophoto websites and by joining forums dedicated to the subject. Wanting to increase my knowledge, I bought this book for two reasons: First of all it's a newly published book, so I figured it would have information pertaining to the latest cameras, devices, and software available. Secondly, I read all the 5 star reviews here on this site which sealed the deal for me.
I'm sorry I ever bought it. The book felt very disjointed. It felt like every paragraph introduced you to a new topic, but never really explained anything. By the end of the paragraph you would be wanting more, only for the book to go on about something new.
To make things worse, the book is filled with sentences that will leave you scratching your head. Here's a perfect example from page 27. And I quote:
"If your camera does not allow the complete manual setting of the exposure, you may be able to use the camera's exposure compensation. For example, if the automatic mode produces over exposures, you can try a manual correction selecting shorter exposures."
What was that he said?? Ok, maybe he'll explain it clearer in the next paragraph... Not.
On the subject of processing your photos, telling me to open Photoshop and click and drag on the curve to adjust the colors doesn't quite cut it. Can we be a little more specific?? Here's the quote:
"In order to create an impressive nighttime image, the following menu item is more helpful: Image->Adjustments->Curves... As shown in the curves dialog box, you can click and drag on the straight line with the mouse to change the shape of the curve. The result (image 3) more closely resembles a nightime shot"
I need a little more why's and how's than this book offers. The majority of the book is pictures, and even the pictures lack the information normally found in photography books. I'm used to seeing photos where the photographer explains the equipment and settings - you won't find any of that here.
If you already have a general knowledge of astrophotography, I would suggest that you pass on this book.
Wonderous Book For Seeing the Cosmos Through The Lens Apr 28, 2008
'Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos' is a wonderful guide for any hobbyists that enjoy looking up at the night sky and wishing to record the images they see for prosperity. Like all of the photography genre there is so much more to taking pictures than just pressing a button and aiming, no matter what the subject matter is. When you look up at the sky and all you see for the most part is black with objects in between, there certainly is an art form to this as well, well presented in this book.
Not a long book, content is spread over 150+ pages and 5 chapters. Discussing regular cameras, web cams, computer settings, ISO, balance, etc. all the basics that you would expect to be discussed are done here. Interspersed throughout the text are pictures of the cosmos, beautiful and basic.
If you are an amateur photographer or a newbie that is looking to find out how you can take pictures of the night sky better and more effectively, this is a great resource to have.
Easy to recommend, fun to peruse, a solid addition to any photographers shelf.
***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Wow! Approachable and Complete Apr 4, 2008
First off, wow! This book has very good detail introducing any level of photographer to astrophotography. I have been interested to see how people not affiliated with a major college or governmental organization get amazing photos the night time sky. What I appreciate from this title is various methods are described from as small as a web cam to as involved as a camera attached to a telescope. Hardware recommendations and Photoshop enhancements are all spelled out with great examples and easy to understand steps. If you are at all interested in capturing photos of the moon, stars and even impressive galaxy shots better than the average snapshot anyone can take, this book will is the ultimate guide.
All levels of astrophotography are covered in a guide perfect for both photography and science libraries Apr 3, 2008
DIGITAL ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: A GUIDE TO CAPTURING THE COSMOS covers all the basics of astrophotogaphy, from choosing equipment and obtaining sharp images to taking lovely night shots with a digital camera and tripod setup and using a webcam to get planet images. All levels of astrophotography are covered in a guide perfect for both photography and science libraries at all levels of interest, with color examples throughout supplementing step-by-step directions, tips, and overviews.
Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos Mar 22, 2008
What astronomer hasn't wished to record the splendor of the night sky to review later? It is natural to want to be able to recall those glorious evenings that are so few and far between, like looking at a family album. Astrophotography is a way to do that but as anyone who has tried it can tell you, that can be daunting.
In Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos, Stefan Seip provides a solid introduction to several digital techniques for recording the visible universe. After a first "Before You Start" chapter describing the basics of resolution, focal length and ratio, Seip breaks the remainder of the book into four main categories of digital astrophotography: the Digital Compact Camera (DCC), the Webcam (WC), the Digital SLR (DLSR), and the dedicated Astronomical Camera (AC).
The ubiquitous Digital Compact Camera is inexpensive and most everyone already has one so getting started takes little or no money. They are self contained so no computer is required to acquire the images. On the downside, they are often not very flexible in use, mounting to a telescope may be difficult, and some simply don't have the needed features such as long exposure. The book provides tips for connecting the camera to the telescope for either through the optical tube assembly for high power imaging or piggy back for low power. The author then covers after the fact image processing with popular software.
The Webcam, introduced first for live images over the Internet, has had an enormous impact on planetary imaging in the last decade. Like the DCC, many people already have one and they are inexpensive if not. Also like the DCC, some webcams are better suited to astrophotography than others. Unlike the DCC, they do require an attached computer and typically they are used for through the telescope imaging only. Seip provides tips for purchasing the webcam and accessories for attaching it to the telescope. He goes into detail on setting up the software, the critical focusing, tips for acquiring the images, and processing with the popular (and free) Registax application.
Next, Seip covers the Digital SLR which has the advantages of the DCC but far fewer of the disadvantages so as a fixed lens and limited functionality. Of course, DSLRs are a big step up price wise from the previous two camera types but that price is coming down. Since DSLRs have removable lens, you can switch focal length very easily and also shoot through the telescope much more easily. They also usually have much larger chips making for larger fields of view and more sophisticated software than their DCC cousins. They do tend to be prone to electronic noise and tend to run through batteries so you need to take measures to overcome both issues.
Finally, Seip discusses dedicated Astronomical Cameras which tend to be more sensitive, cooled to reduce electronic noise, and more dynamic range than any of the previous camera types discussed. Of course, they cannot be used for normal photography and must be controlled by a computer. The author covers the details of these cameras, what accessories you might want, as well as the software you might use to acquire and process your images.
Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos provides a solid introduction to the art for the beginning astrophotographer. If you follow his tips and techniques you should be soon producing good images of night sky objects. However, if you are not new to the subject you may find the book of limited value.