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Astrophotography for the Amateur [Paperback]

Michael A. Covington
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £36.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 May 1999
First published in 1999, this much expanded and updated edition of the best-selling handbook Astrophotography for the Amateur provides a complete guide to taking pictures of stars, galaxies, the Moon, the Sun, comets, meteors and eclipses, using equipment and materials readily available to the hobbyist. In this new edition, the book has been completely revised and now includes new chapters on computer image processing and CCD imaging; expanded advice on choosing cameras and telescopes; completely updated information about the films; a much larger bibliography; and hundreds of new photographs (in colour, and black and white) demonstrating the latest equipment and techniques. Astrophotography for the Amateur has become the standard handbook for all amateur astronomers. This expanded and updated edition provides an ideal introduction for beginners and a complete handbook for advanced amateurs. It will also appeal to photography enthusiasts who can discover how to take spectacular images with only modest equipment.

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Astrophotography for the Amateur + Digital SLR Astrophotography (Practical Amateur Astronomy) + Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos
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Product details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (27 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521627400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521627405
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'… the author's friendly, authoritative style makes the book a splendid read … This is an excellent introduction to astronomical imaging with many beautiful colour pictures, is suitable for beginners and advanced photographers. Highly recommended!' Nik Szymanek, Astronomy Now

'A much-welcome second edition is now upon us. The material in this new book is fully updated with the latest techniques, films, and equipment that amateurs are using in today's' sky-shooting endeavours. The text remains well suited for both inexperienced as well as moderately advanced amateur astrophotographers. And even the pros might pick up a few tips from this extensive work … a real pleasure to read.' Chris Schur, Sky and Telescope

'A more comprehensive book would be difficult to imagine without the readability suffering greatly … it will serve you till it crumbles to dust.' Gnomon

'It was 15 years ago Michael Covington first published Astrophotography for the Amateur, and during the following years it became a bible for the uninitiated astrophotographer and even for those with appreciable experience. This is a superb reference guide for exposure tables, film data, photographic filters, information for further reading including Internet sources and contacts for dealers.' Adrian Catterall, Webb Society Deep-Sky Observer

Book Description

First published in 1999, this much expanded and updated edition of the best-selling handbook Astrophotography for the Amateur provides a complete guide to taking pictures of stars, galaxies, the Moon, the Sun, comets, meteors and eclipses. It includes new chapters on computer image processing and CCD imaging, choosing cameras and telescopes, the latest films, and hundreds of new photographs.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 20 Mar 2001
I bought this book only two weeks ago, and since then I can say that I have a great new hobby! I shot one film (fixed tripod method, according the instructions in the book) and the results are amazing. With this book everyone who is seriously interested can become an astrophotographer! I am looking forward to the results of my next step: I built a so-called barndoor tracker, which is a simple device to enable longer exposures, by compensating for the earth's rotation. The book describes how to build one. Right now I am seriously considering buying a telescope. I particularly appreciate this book for the width in which the subject is discussed, along with its ability to raise so much enthousiasm for astrophotography, as it did with me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
As a relatively new astrophotographer the data in Micheal Covingtons book I found was invaluable. The concepts are clear and concise and have been an important source of information for me. Although there is no great detail in CCD techniques I still value this book and would recommend it for , well, the amateur astrophotographer really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Astrophotography for the amateur 16 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I am new to astrophotography. What a big mistake. The whole content of the book is years out of date. The book requires drastic updating to bring it into the modern world. Camera recommendations are well over twenty years old and do not reflect the current digital era.

I have to say that I was completely disappointed with this book. It's major focus was film rather than digital photography. It was like reading a history of photography rather than a practical, useful guide..

Highly overpriced. In my opinion a waste of money!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A DECENT REFRESHER BOOK 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I see where this is the 2nd edition of this book I feel that the first edition was alot better. The book has decent information covered here but it seems like a rehash of info only slightly changed by the author. To make this book better the author should know that ccd is the wave of the future and if he decides to write a 3rd book to do more research this time, some of the films mentioned are out of date.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Overall Astrophotography Book 13 April 2000
By Howard Edin - Published on
This second edition is updated and revised. Of all the books I've read on astrophotography this is the best overall. Given that the standard reference work by Provin and Wallace (A Manual of Advanced Celestial Photography) was dated and is out of print this is the closest replacement.
The book covers all topics relevant to astrophotography, including telescope considerations, mounts, camera types and lens, focusing, photographic methods (prime focus, projection, etc.). Topics covered also include photographing meteors, aurora displays, planets and deep space objects. One appendix contains extensive exposure data for various targets like the moon, planets and deep sky objects. Some image processing techniques and algorithms are covered.
Some of the films mentioned in the book are now obsolete but that is an unfortunate consequence of a rapidly changing market. The book is generously illustrated with photos taken by the author and many other noted amateur astronomers.
CCD photography is covered in the book but not in any real depth. That is not a drawback to the book since most of the material on photography (methods, mounts and telescopes) is generally applicable to CCD as well. Readers interested specifically in CCD and not film should consult other texts for more in-depth information.
Overall the author did an excellent job of collecting and organizing information for the beginner to advanced astrophotographer.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Technical in nature - a bit out-of-date - Lacks CCD info 5 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Just getting back into the astrophotography after 15 years and found the book was a good refresher. It would be a good place to start with film photography. This title is almost 8 or 9 years old now, so the mentioned film types are dated, but the general concepts are good. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a technical introduction into astrophotography. I will refer back to it often.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Astronomical Resource 5 May 2001
By "elemental_master" - Published on
For about 5 years now I've been involved with Astronomy as a hobby. I've owned telescopes small and large, taken numerous night sky pictures, and read many materials on the subject. With the recent purchase of my 8" Schmidt, I was eager to begin taking pictures with it. I realized that while I'd taken some pictures in the past, I wasn't very skilled in the process. With a desire to expand my knowledge and further my skills I purchased this book. I was glad that I did. The book has an abundance of useful information that I was able to readily apply when photographing. It also has an abundance of technically sophisticated information. If you are a very new beginner then this probably isn't your book. I found that you already need more than just a basic knowledge of astronomy and photography to understand the concepts covered in this book. The book is not a light read. If you want to understand what is included in it you must be willing to devote some time, both reading and applying. If you are willing to put up with a level of sophistication and complexity then you should have no problem with this book. The title can be slightly misleading in the sense that the word amateur it is used. "Amateur," in title of this work, best translates as: non-professional. And not as beginner.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hesitated to pick up a copy of this book... 26 Aug 2001
By S. Casper - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been trying my hand off and on for the last year at astrophotography with my Meade LX-200. In that time I've scoured the internet, devoured newsgroup, and emailed enough astrophotographers that you'd think I was trying to get elected to NASA or something. In all that time, one name and reference guide kept coming up as a "must have". Astrophotography for the Amateur by Michael A. Covington.

Everywhere I turned, everyone I asked, their answers always seemed to come down to "...because Michael Covington does it this way" or "Yeah I tried doing it that way but after reading Astrophotography I tried it this way and received better results". That attitude actually "put me off" this book. Here I wanted to learn how to do astrophotography, not follow some recipe in a book. After finally browsing through a friends copy I was immediately impressed with the book as a reference guide, and when comparing it to my own notes and conclusions found several area's where I had erred, resulting in poor photo's. Of course, the flip side is true as well.

Some of the info in this book (even though it is a second edition) is dated such as film types and recommendations. I've found his exposure calculations for Lunar photography to be way over exposed.

I have to make a correction here, originaly I (and others) noted the lack of CCD imaging information in the book and I need to note that the first addition makes no mention of CCD, while the second edition has a section detailing the diffrences between CCD and film work. It also has a brief section devoted to CCD work. Its not as indepth as his discussions on film work.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource for both novices and pros 27 Oct 2000
By John - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although photography has been a hobby of mine for years, I recently became interested in astronomy. I bought this book to learn how to combine these two hobbies.
This is an excellent resource. If you're just starting out, this book covers the basics and explains things that even a novice like me can understand. As your skill level advances this book will continue to be an excellent resource. It is filled with detailed technical information on scopes, mounts, lenses, films, techniques and just about anything you need to know on this subject. I agree with other reviewers that the book does not cover CCD photography in depth. CCD hardware/software seems to be changing at such a rapid pace. It would be difficult to write a detailed text on this subject that would not be out of date in a couple of years.
Overall, I rate this book very highly and recommend if for both novices and pros.
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