Astrophotography
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Final Release Date: June 2014
Pages: 240

Today's photographic equipment allows amateurs to take pictures of the stars that far surpass images taken just a few decades ago by even the largest observatories-and this book will teach you how.

Author and world-renowned astrophotographer Thierry Legault teaches the art and techniques of astrophotography: from simple camera-on-tripod night-scene imaging of constellations, star trails, eclipses, artificial satellites, and polar auroras to more intensive astrophotography using specialized equipment for lunar, planetary, solar, and deep-sky imaging. Legault shares advice on equipment and guides you through techniques to capture and process your images to achieve spectacular results.

Astrophotography provides the most thorough treatment of the topic available. This large-format, richly illustrated book is intended for all sky enthusiasts-newcomers and veterans alike.

Learn how to:

  • Select the most useful equipment: cameras, adapters, filters, focal reducers/extenders, field correctors, and guide telescopes
  • Set up your camera (digital, video, or CCD) and your lens or telescope for optimal results
  • Plan your observing sessions
  • Mount the camera on your telescope and focus it for razor-sharp images
  • Polar-align your equatorial mount and improve tracking for pin-point star images
  • Make celestial time-lapse videos
  • Calculate the shooting parameters: focal length and ratio, field of view, exposure time, etc.
  • Combine multiples exposures to reveal faint galaxies, nebulae details, elusive planetary structures, and tiny lunar craters
  • Adjust contrast, brightness, light curves, and colors
  • Postprocess your images to fix defects such as vignetting, dust shadows, hot pixels, uneven background, and noise
  • Identify problems with your images and improve your results
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5.0

Astrophotography by Thierry Legault

By André Cajolais

from Montreal, Canada

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Astrophotography:

    Astrophotography by Thierry Legault, a reference and a practical guide 

    Whether you are beginning in astrophotography or want to improve your technique, Astrophotography by Thierry Legault might be your best guide. Legault combines over 20 years of experience in astronomy and photography, and this is obvious when reading this book. His attention to details and the quality of his work is a true guarantee for this edition of Astrophotography. 

    Among his most outstanding photographic exploits, Legault is known worldwide for its spectacular images of the International Space Station, including the passage of ISS before the Sun, and one with the Space Shuttle en route to dock to ISS. A technical feat that has surprised many around the world. That's not counting its many shots of deep sky objects that are simply wonderful. 

    Astrophotography, which was translated into English for the first time in 2014, was first published in French in 2006. It was then a real success in the amateur astronomy community. This second edition is an update from the original, in terms of equipment and experience of the author. 

    The main interest of Astrophotography is undoubtedly Legault's ability to clearly explain complex subjects. I particularly appreciate his chapter where he explains the digital process and image acquisition that is taking place in my camera. He also clearly addresses the best ways to choose the equipment that will suits your needs and the best practices for optimizing image processing. He is generous in sharing his experience. So, even if you are new to astrophotography, you will easily be able to follow his instructions and take your first steps. 

    The book begins by explaining the most simple methods to start in astrophotography, even without a telescope. The key here is to choose the right tools for the right subject. Then the rest is a matter of planning your photo session, follow Legault's instructions and experiment. Then the author goes further and invites us into photography with a telescope. All the information necessary to be successful is there, from the proper use of a telescope, the importance of good tracking, and the best practices in image acquisition. Regarding image processing, Legault discusses this subject full and clear, but warns against the temptation to push the image treatment too far. The danger here is to create  artifacts that compromise the integrity of the object being photographed. 

    Topics include : detailed explanation of digital process, careful selection of the most useful equipment, configuration of the camera you are using, efficient planning of your imaging session, technics of image acquisition and image processing, and the importance of a good analysis of your results, etc. 

    Astrophotography is a solid guide and a most useful reference for astrophotography. Written in a straightforward style, the translation of the original French edition is very successful. 

    Thanks Rocky Nook for publishing this book.

    André Cajolais

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