New Publication: Digital Astrophotography

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. As noted in the book foreword by the world-known deepsky photographer Robert Gendler “I can’t think of anyone better [than Stefan Seip] to bring the new technologies of astrophotography to those who are eager to learn them”.

The 162-page book is published by an American publisher Rocky Nook in English (ISBN 978-1933952161). A German version of this book is published earlier in 2006 by Kosmos Verlags-GmbH (ISBN 978-3440104262).

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. It is a guide on 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.
The rewards 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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