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CCD Astrophotography: High-Quality Imaging from the Suburbs [Paperback]

Adam Stuart

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Book Description

June 8 2006 0387262415 978-0387262413 2006

This book details an approach to the problem of getting high-quality astronomical images under light-polluted conditions. The book is for amateur astronomers interested in CCD imaging, especially those who have to work under suburban conditions. It outlines the materials and equipment used for high-quality imaging. The many wonderful images produced allow the reader to see the product of – initially – a fellow beginner’s efforts. Respectable images are attainable with modest equipment. This book outlines a complete and thoroughly tested working program for every beginner to achieve high-quality digital imaging.


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From the reviews:

"In this book, US amateur Adam Stuart struts his stuff by turning his personal experiences … into a full-length book. What I especially liked is that the author goes to great lengths to show what a variety of instruments can do … . Stuart does a really nice job presenting astrophotography … I for one found many of his tips and suggestions to be invaluable. The best feature of this book is … high-quality colour images … . the author must truly be congratulated!" (Neil English, Astronomy Now, March, 2007)

"Adam Stuart’s book is a practical, enthusiastic, hands-on tale of the numerous challenges he faced and overcame during the construction of a home observatory under the light-polluted skies of southern Florida." (David Malin, Australian Physics, Vol. 43 (5), 2006)

From the Back Cover

This is a reference book for amateur astronomers who have become interested in CCD imaging.

Those glorious astronomical images found in astronomy magazines might seem out of reach to newcomers to CCD imaging, but this is not the case. Great pictures are attainable with modest equipment. Adam Stuart’s many beautiful images, reproduced in this book, attest to the quality of – initially – a beginner’s efforts.

Chilled-chip astronomical CCD-cameras and software are also wonderful tools for cutting through seemingly impenetrable light-pollution. CCD Astrophotography from the Suburbs describes one man’s successful approach to the problem of getting high-quality astronomical images under some of the most light-polluted conditions.

Here is a complete and thoroughly tested program that will help every CCD-beginner to work towards digital imaging of the highest quality. It is equally useful to astronomers who have perfect observing conditions, as to those who have to observe from light-polluted city skies.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Light pollution is the bane of amateur astronomers, whether your interest is in observing or imaging. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money Dec 16 2009
By G. Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is basically broken down into two parts. The first 80 pages are all about the author's equipment and setup. The second 80 pages are images he took. The first part may be useful if you have the exact same equipment but, if not, you won't get anything out of it. His images range from mediocre to great, but there is no information on how he captured or processed them. In short, this is just a great big pat on the back by the author for the author. Don't waste your money, you'll get nothing for it.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am a little bit disappointed April 23 2008
By Attila Madai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I could hardly wait for this book because I live next to a more than 2 million-city (Budapest) in Hungary and half of the night sky is terrible from my backyard; so the main reason behind my ordering this book was its subtitle.

But the truth is that only the very first section (seven pages incl. pictures and PC screenshots) of this book deals with this problem and that is just a kind of approach from bird's eye view; the rest of the text is a "normal" and elementary level astro-photo book. (And I have much better astro photography and image processing sources as Wodarski or Berry&Burnell...)

At the same time, there are too many pictures (roughly 1/3 of the book!!!) as sample image collection. Some of them are really very nice shots and some others are poor but without any explanations regarding the features of their capture and/or image processing.

So this book is not bad at all but I can recommend it for beginners only as another overview about new technology of astro-photography and there is nothing special in it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but absolutely not for casual imagers April 3 2007
By RJ USMC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are considering this book in order to learn how to image with basic astronomical equipment and CCD imaging gear.

I was disappointed with it since it comes from the "Practical Astronomy" series. Mr. Stuart's set up is anything but practical. I know of few people who get into this hobby and instantly purchase their own dome, establish a network, and run their equipment from the convenience of their home. The cost of his endeavor must have been in the tens of thousands, not my idea of amateur nor practical.

Chapters 3 and 4 provide the most pertinent information on image collecting and processing. This is the meat of the subject and what most everyone starting out in astrophotography needs to know. Mr. Stuart, unfortunately, spends relatively little time describing the nuts-and-bolts of imaging with a CCD device, instead relying upon the Santa Barbara Imaging Group to handle the rough spots. WebCAM's have become the tool of choice for many backyard astronomers and the author devotes nothing more than a few pages describing them. He does, however, describe the processing stages and that is the strength of the book. Chapter 5 shows some of his best deep space images and some of the solar system objects he has photographed. Fine work, but with the amount of cash he tossed at them, they should be.

If you are interested in finding a quick solution, this book is not it. If you are established and want to learn how to shoot like the big boys, then Mr. Stuart's book is just fine.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book May 27 2009
By Christian Amacker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a disappointment... this book was not useful to me for any purpose other than to read about the equipment & software used by the author. It's nothing more than a chronology and documentary on the equipment HE owns and uses, but there is absolutely no information on HOW to use it. I was expecting and/or hoping for "reference" type information, but the book is essentially useless for this purpose. The author will tell you everything you want to know about HIS equipment and setup (in a manner that goes over the head of nearly all beginners) but does absolutely nothing to educate you on how to effectively take "high quality astrophotography from the suburbs". Even worse, half of the book contains nothing more than photos that he took, but there is no information on technique. If you want a "guided tour" of the author's setup, then you'll love the book, but if you want to know anything at all about how to use it, or even better... how to use your own or other equipment, absolutely positively 100% stay away from this book. I think the book is a scam-- to get you to buy and use equipment owned by the author. I wonder if the different equipment manufacturers and vendors pay the guy to name-drop and "advertise" in his book. What a disappointment.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners May 21 2007
By John chase - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first word that comes to mind regarding Adam Stuarts book is disappointing. Perhaps If he did not proclaim it was a beginners book...

I have no doubt someone can find some value perhaps so, but I could not. I have been looking for some time for a book that would address the questions a beginner would have in astro imaging. I have purchased an LX200 8 inch I have been an avid amateur astronomer for 40 years when I purchased this scope the dealer had an offer on astro imaging equipment that I took advantage of.

Unfortunately the instructions were not helpful. Some theory was in order, which I had hoped this book would address. Perhaps with some basics addressed in plain English I could then go back and better utilize the equipment.

It seems that there are people who can adapt quickly to this kind of photography with little or no help but I belong to a different group I need to know why things are done and in what order. For instance how do you determine how long to provide for each image when you need to take perhaps hundreds of images. And when using color how long for each filter how many images per filter and how many images in total. Of course, I have other questions but I am still looking for that "beginners book."
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