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Star Vistas: A Collection of Fine Art Astrophotography [Hardcover]

Greg Parker , Noel Carboni
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

12 Jan 2009 0387884351 978-0387884356 2009

Most people are familiar with the spectacular Hubble Space Telescope images - most of them in the public domain and available on the Internet. These images, constrained by the scientific observing programs, are mainly very distant, strange objects. There are very few high-quality books of wide-field deep-sky images, primarily because the major professional telescopes are scheduled for research projects rather than creating beautiful images.

Star Vistas contains many spectacular photographs of the Moon and constellations, but most of the book contains wide-field astronomical images and some of the most exquisite star photographs ever made. Moreover, all these astronomical photographs were made using commercially-available amateur equipment and software! This is a testament to the development of today's optical and imaging technology, the excellence of relatively low-cost telescopes and cameras, to the author's skills in taking the photographs, and to Noel Carboni's skill in processing the images.

Whether it is to be used as a reference and gold standard for amateur imaging, or simply as a book of beautiful images of the night sky to be marvelled at, this book deserves a place in the library of anyone interested in our fascinating universe.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2009 edition (12 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387884351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387884356
  • Product Dimensions: 30.8 x 25 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 392,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the reviews:

"This book is a collection of very-high-quality, full-page, true-full-color photographs of deep-sky objects, as beautiful as images produced by space telescopes. It illustrates what can be done by amateur astronomers using commercially available telescopes and cameras and features many deep-sky objects rarely imaged by the major space telescopes. … this title was written for armchair astronomers and general science readers." (Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin, 2009)

“You would not be disappointed. In one sense, this is a coffee-table book, full of beautiful pictures … . But when you start to read the text you will begin to discover how remarkable these pictures really are — they were all taken from a back garden in the New Forest by an (admittedly very dedicated) amateur astrophotographer … . The full-colour images are extremely impressive … . The commentaries are well-written, generally accurate … . Altogether, this is a book to savour — highly recommended.” (Robert Connon Smith, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1213), December, 2009) Aus den Rezensionen: “Dieses Buch entstand als Kooperation von zwei außerordentlich talentierten Amateur-Astronomen. Greg Parker machte diese herrlichen Weitwinkel-Aufnahmen von Deep-Sky-Objekten in England, während Noel Carboni diese in den USA meisterhaft nachbearbeitete. ... Zusätzlich sind diese Weitwinkel-Aufnahmen einfach schön, während die großen Teleskope sich auf die Forschung konzentrieren, nicht auf ästhetische Bilder. ... Ein prachtvolles Werk, das so richtig zum Schmökern einlädt ...“ (in: Weltraum Facts, 2008, Vol. 15, Issue 4, S. 24)

From the Publisher

"Confronted by [modern] advances, amateur astronomers - the driving force behind the study of the heavens for much of history - have had to reinvent themselves. Today's 'amateur' is, in fact, a serious professional armed with the latest tools of optics and computers to capture, analyse, catalogue, and disseminate information and images of the night sky (and day sky!). They complement, rather than compete with, the work of major observatories and research scientists. Some areas of study, such as the search for near Earth objects - asteroids and comets - still rely heavily on the efforts of dedicated amateurs. Dr Greg Parker is one such serious amateur." Sir Arthur C. Clarke

"The wonders of the Universe are here! Enjoy!" Dr. Brian May

"This is a book deserving an honoured place every scientific library, amateur or professional." Sir Patrick Moore

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awe inspiring 24 Sep 2012
We have become used to seeing stunning images of deep space delivered by telescopes in orbit using technology costing hundred of millions of dollars that are managed by teams of experts, so why should be want a book of starscapes made using technology available to the rest of us? Precisely because it's available to the rest of us. Because while the stars, galaxies, globular clusters and nebula depicted in fine, inspiring detail in these pages are remote - more remote than our imaginations can conceive - the ability to observe them is no longer remote, it's available to anyone with enough persistence, time and, of course, skill.

This book has an image of a pulsar that is 13 billion light years away. It's a tiny red dot. It looks completely insignificant. But what it means is that we, using technology that doesn't cost billions and take teams of experts and governments to procure, can observe almost to the limits of the universe. If that's not astounding, I don't know what is.

We have always looked up at the stars and dreamed and we always will. This book makes those dreams more real.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest astrophotograpy book I have seen. 13 Mar 2009
By Harley E. Orr - Published on Amazon.com
My previous review didn't "take" somehow, which is unfortunate because more people need to know about this book. Greg Parker captures the photographic data with equipment that is all available to amateurs, and he emails the data to Noel Carboni, who stacks and processes the images. The result is fantastic imagery. As a member of Our Dark Skies Forum, I have been privileged to watch these images be produced, as Greg and Noel often share their images with forum members, and we can see the images evolve as Greg gathers more data and Noel combines it.

The printing job is very good, and the layout of the book is great, with full-bleed imagery. Another great plus is the text descriptions that accompany the images. The authors manage to convey interesting information on these objects without resorting to jargon. The result is descriptions that are accessible to the layman (even younger people), though quite interesting to people who are more advanced in astronomy.

A nice plus: There are three forwards. One each by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Sir Patrick Moore, and Dr. Brian May. Three wonderful endorsements, indeed. The generous size of the book and the high-quality images make this an excellent coffee-table book for astronomers and non-astronomers alike. If you have a friend or relative that has an interest in the night skies, this book would be the perfect gift - one that can be enjoyed over and over again. Beware, though. If you buy a copy for your nephew and take a look inside before wrapping it up, you'll have to get another copy for yourself, even if you previously had little interest in astronomy. It's that good.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing collection of pictures 24 Mar 2009
By E. R. Guinn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wow!! The subtitle is "A Collection of Fine Art Astrophotography", and it does not disappoint. My wife, the artist, wanted to see what "Fine Art" and Astrophotography had in common, she was not disappointed. I have dabbled a bit in this hobby, but never with the results that these two guys have achieved. It humbles me when I see such fantastic work and realize that these are "ordinary" guys with fairly ordinary equipment.
The authors have brought to our coffee table, pictures of deep sky objects that previously were only available to owners of massive telescopes and massive budgets.......in fact, these pictures are easily finer than anything found in any book of ten years ago.....using any equipment.
We ordered this book, and then left for a few days on vacation...and we had some friends pick up the book when it was delivered to our front door. Well, I almost didn't get it away from them. They are both fans of deep space images and I guess I now know what their Christmas gift is going to be.
As a lover of deep sky photographs some of the images bring tears to my eyes.....to understand that these are pictures of something that happened thousands of years ago and that the light is just now making its way through trillions of miles of space is incredible. And, Dr. Parker and Mr. Carboni have done a wonderful job of capturing and displaying the images.

What is truly amazing is that these aren't hubble images taken with a massive budget and equipment, these are taken with "off the shelf" equipment in a less than perfect location (cloudy england)...just amazing.

If you appreciate deep space photography, this is a must have book......if you have a friend who appreciates deep sky photography...what better gift? This is a gift that you can give to anyone and it'll always be displayed with pride by the recipient. (I have three, so far).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Vistas review 11 Mar 2009
By John M. Sturnick - Published on Amazon.com
Star Vistas-- i just received my copy and give it a thumbs up!-- Star Vistas is basically a coffee table book, the astrophotography is a collection of the work of Greg Parker and Noel Carboni, now what makes this book special is, the image capturing and processing were done and created with consumer equipment, by that i mean, these two created one of the finest books of astrophotos with everyday tools!- ill point out it also doesnt overwhelm you hubble with nasa data dribble virtually nobody understands. the book is superbly written, and in very to easy understand descriptions of the photographed object, you can just feel the enthusiasum the book was written with!- the book itself is a terrific size, hardback cover- the forwards are sensational by Sir Arthur C Clarke, Sir Patrick Moore,& Dr Brian May-- you wont be dissapointed! John Sturnick
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any amateur astronomer 11 Mar 2009
By Marion Olthoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is packed full of stunning images thanks to the collaboration between Greg Parker and Noel Carboni, and proves what can be done with amateur equipment. The book itself is a very nice size, showing off each image in rich color on high quality paper. Having being privileged to see many of the images on the internet first via the Our Dark Skies astronomy discussion forum, I was extremely pleased to finally see them in print and found them to be even more splendid. This book does not disappoint and is an inspiration to anyone interested in astrophotography or amateur astronomy. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Mysterious 13 May 2009
By Gary Wright - Published on Amazon.com
This is a very beautiful book. The images are stunning with no text overlaying them. When one looks at these images one can be taken by the magnitude of the utter mystery that they are. What an incredible universe.
If you want to know what the quality of the images is like you could visit one of the authors website which has a representative image of the Cone Nebula. Following is the URL of the image:[...]
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