The Art of Astrophotography
by Ian Morison
This is something completely new for me. I tend shoot manual and this year I picked up a decent tripod (the last two I have had broke several years ago). So, I have been experimenting with time-lapse photography. I have basic equipment: A Canon T2i and I have two lenses at the moment. I have a fish eye lens and a 18-55 mm.
I have learned more about my camera from reading this book, simply for the fact that I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. For example, I have had to figure out where the settings are to make sure long exposure noise reduction function was off. I looked it up to see if I even had this. I do.
You certainly need a basic to intermediate understanding of photography to proceed with this book. It is not for beginners. You also need to have a decent understanding of post processing. I have much to learn all the way around, but in this I need serious work.
This is a book to grow into. You need specialized equipment for most of the lessons. I have already added a few things to my wishlist on Amazon. One of these, and probably the most basic piece to acquire is a star tracking mount. You need this to photograph a constellation. These go for about $300. Also, If you have access to a telescope an adapter would be a great place to start.
Each chapter discusses a different aspect or different astrological body: the moon with a Dslr, the sun, different planets, etc. This book builds on the previous chapters using lots of post processing to create a beautiful image. There is a lot of technical detail about the actual workings of the camera or other equipment, which is helpful. I found it helped me understand low lighting using a Dslr.
I am excited to try many of the techniques used in here. I really only got to use a few, one of which was the star stacking to make star trails, but it was definitely worth it. I plan on trying out the post processing lessons for photographing larger phases of the moon next.
Below are some of the pictures I took using a few of the techniques from this book.
The two below are from tonight. The waxing crescent moon and Orion.
In The Art of Astrophotography, astronomer and Astronomy Now columnist Ian Morison provides the essential foundations of how to produce beautiful astronomical images. Every type of astroimaging is covered, from images of the Moon and planets, to the constellations, star clusters and nebulae within our Milky Way Galaxy and the faint light of distant galaxies. He achieves this through a series of worked examples and short project walk-throughs, detailing the equipment needed – starting with just a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and tripod, and increasing in complexity as the book progresses – followed by the way to best capture the images and then how, step by step, these may be processed and enhanced to provide results that can rival those seen in astronomical magazines and books. Whether you are just getting into astrophotography or are already deeply involved, Morison’s advice will help you capture and create enticing astronomical images.