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CCD Astrophotography: High-Quality Imaging from the Suburbs Paperback – Jun 5 2006
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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.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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