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A Guide to Astrophotography with Digital SLR Cameras Multimedia CD – March 21, 2009
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About the Author
Jerry Lodriguss is a professional photographer and expert in astrophotography and digital image processing who has been taking astrophotos for more than 30 years. His articles on Photoshop, digital processing and astrophotography have been published in Sky and Telescope, and Astronomy magazines. His astronomical photography has appeared in books and magazines all over the world. He is the author of two previous books: "Photoshop for Astrophotographers - A guide to Digital Correction and Enhancement Techniques for Astrophotos" and "Catching the Light - A Beginners Guide to the Wonders of the Cosmos."
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I've been doing astrophotography for about a year now with an 80 mm refractor and a Canon T1i DSLR, and I have produced a few nice images with round stars and detail out as far as M101 Pinwheel, which has apparent magnitude 7.86. But I never felt very secure in planning exposure times, choosing preprocessing protocols, or in postprocessing with Nebulosity and/or Photoshop. This CD does a very nice job of discussing the basic procedures and options, especially for those using DSLR cameras. The discussion of sources of noise and exposure times is worth the price. It's not a cookbook, but he outlines the tradeoffs in choosing ISO values, exposure times, and number of sub-exposures. It has given me a clearer notion of how to proceed. The videos are brief, but brisk, a nice relief from the tedious videos one encounters on the social network sites. They add bits of information lacking from the text.
I probably would not strongly recommend this book if you are employed in the virtual media field, or are a professional free lance digital photographer, as you are most likely quite adept with photoshop and beyond. However, if you are an old school film astrophotographer (like myself), finally making the switch to digital, a novice/intermediate digital person, or a newbe, you will find this book quite useful. If you are an advanced digital astrophotographer, you might be able to compare Jerry's technique to your own, especially for the low price.
If you are just getting started, believe it or not, digital astrophotography is far easier to master than film work. This CD is a great place to start!
Intermediates like myself will find that the majority of the topics covered up to the processing chapters to be unnecessary. We already have the equipment and have been taking images. We are wanting to take our images from average to great. I did find the processing chapters useful. I have already incorporated the Photoshop tools into my processing. However, the information relating to Photoshop is limited and leaves me feeling like there is much more that Photoshop can offer.
I gave it 4 stars as the book itself, format and information is great. Most important is to try and determine if you are a beginner or intermediate astrophotographer.
I read book for the first time just to get acquainted. The amount of new information, new techniques and tips was so high, so I decided that I just need to read it through without getting deep into details. And now, when I have the overview, I read again topics to get deeper into the subjects. And I really like this book, the material and the way it is being presented.
A very nice thing is a number of video lessons and source files for the self-practice. I find it really usefull to take exactly the same source files the author had, go through the whole picture processing flow and compare the results with the ones presented in the book, finding your mistakes and seeing how different settings affects the final image. This is really nice tutor!
I didn't put the highest mark for this book as there's also free software for stack processing of astro images. And I expected this book to talk more bout the free tools, like IRIS from Christian Buil. Rather than this, book is an excellent one, I highly recommend it for everyone with a desire to memorize skies into pictures.
But be prepared to read a lot more bout the skies, it is a big and very interesting topic.