- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Rocky Nook (December 15, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933952164
- ISBN-13: 978-1933952161
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos
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13 pages - Introduction
22 pages - Compact Digital Camera
26 pages - Webcam
32 pages - DSLR
42 pages - CCD (SBIG, Starlight Xpress)
Choice of a telescope is limited to a half page discussion in the introduction. There a picture of an equatorial mounting, nothing more. The Meade LPI is given two sentences. For CCD cameras, only the SBIG and Starlight Xpress get a mention. There is no index.
One interesting aspect of the book is the large number of formulas for helping you estimate optimum magnification, angle of view, etc. But overall, this book is trying to cover too much material to do any of it well.
Seip's book is concise, highly readable and an up-to-date book on amateur astrophotography. It is clear and well written and perhaps the best primer to read when one is contemplating delving into this area of the hobby.
I would have liked to see a little more elaboration on guiding (manual and auto), on focusing a DSLR (that's what most people start dabbling in), and on the importance of a good mount-perhaps an appendix guide on mount recommendations, stability considerations, the concept of PEC and maybe on drift alignment (a proper mount is the biggest success factor in astrophotography), but this information can be easily found elsewhere on the web and in books (Ron Wodaski has an excellent section on telescope and mount selection and considerations in his book that bears reading). All in all, an excellent book. I enjoyed reading it very much.
Lastly, if you see Seip's astrophotography photos on the web, you will realize how spectacular his photos (and skills) are. Perhaps it is a reflection of his humility that he avoids showcasing his jaw-dropping photos in his own book!
So, even though I'm a committed visual observer, when Seip's "Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Universe" became available (It was first published in German under the title "Astrofotografie digital") I thought what better photographer to acquaint me with what's become such a huge part of the astronomy hobby. And I was right. As an intro, it's superb.
His book is an attractive soft cover volume, profusely illustrated in color and printed on a heavy weight glossy paper with lots of open margins for notes. It enjoys two clear advantages over some other digital astrophotography texts. First, it does not limit itself to one particular type of digital tool/photography and two, being published this year, its camera and software references should be up to date.
A short introductory chapter, "Before You Start" addresses some basics and presents some terms and concepts which will figure in later discussions.
Then comes the heart of the book: four chapters, each treating a type of camera available to today's digital astro-imager:
- Compact Digital Cameras
- Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (DSLR)
- Charged Coupled Device Cameras (CCD)
Within each chapter, Seip
- explains the characteristics of the specific camera type and
mentions its advantages and disadvantages
- mentions the types of photographs suited to it, e.g.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very easy to read beginners digital astro imaging book.Just read the intro and basic digital camera advise and look forward to getting into the webcam chapter.Published 18 months ago by Solar
Great book. Best I have found for starting into AP (Astro Photography). The information you NEED all in one book. Teaches you how to get good results right from the beginning. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
I'm a pretty experienced digital photographer and familiar with my camera and its settings. I'm not an astronomer, and I've never done night sky photography or anything involving... Read morePublished on May 31, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This is a great overall guide for astrophotography for the advanced digital photographer. One needs to be familiar with some of the quirks of current astronomy software for... Read morePublished on March 5, 2014 by Daniel M. Young
First of all, I don't know anything about astronomy and astrophotography. However, I do know quite a bit about photography, but because of the first comment, I don't know anything... Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by Harry M. Shin
This book talks to you. If you have only thought of doing Astrophotography this book will get you over your reservations. Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by Chet H. Spiro
This a very good book for who wants to have a information about astrophotography, especially for beginners or intermediate amateurs in astronomy and photographyPublished on August 14, 2012 by Carlos A Carvajal
I expected much more from this book. It glazes material in my opinion, and you can find much better how to's and details through any number of online forums.Published on July 31, 2012 by Geminijk