by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2015
The Astrophotography Manual - A Practical and
As we expected, the topic is comprehensively covered. Each of the six
chapters starts with a quote from Douglas Adams* which certainly
enlivens the openings as many of them are extremely funny, especially
in the context they are used.
*Of Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame.
The chapters cover choosing equipment, setting up, image capture and image processing. These are followed by a showcase of Woodhouse's work complete with all the technical details about capture and post processing. One of the chief characteristics of good astrophotography is the command of noise control. They have always been the experts in this, going right back to the days when film would be chilled in liquid nitrogen (or was it CO2?) to cool the emulsion down. Digital has provided them with even more powerful tools and workflows.
So what to make of the book overall? As very much a non-specialist in the subject, it is still interesting but it would require a more thorough read in order to fully understand the points being discussed, as well as the gear to play with. However, if your ambitions are in this direction and you are enthused to put the work in, this is a book that would save its cover price simply by preventing the newcomer from making basic purchasing mistakes.
The Astrophotography Manual - A Practical and Scientific Approach to Deep Space Imaging by Chris Woodhouse. Softback 288 pages, ISBN 978-1- 138-77684-5. Published by Focal Press at £31.99
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