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Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Collection 7: Celebrating 10 years of the world’s best photography Hardcover – Special Edition, 1 Nov 2018
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“Spectacular views of the universe” The Guardian
“Insight Astronomy Photos of the year are stellar and stunning” Irish Examiner
About the Author
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the World, making it the official starting point for each new day and year. It is also home to London's only planetarium, the Harrison timekeepers and the UK's largest refracting telescope. It runs the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
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My only hesitation over an otherwise wholehearted recommendation, is that the photographs are a little repetitive. There are lots of photos of the Milky Way, with a suitably dramatic landscape underneath. Nothing wrong with this, of course, but I would have liked a little more variety. Nevertheless, it is five stars because quite a few of the photos are absolutely stunning.
It would make a lovely Christmas gift.
The pictures are stunning in their colours, crispness and detail. You can see what the Milky Way looks like far from light pollution from street lights, cities, oil refineries and the rest; Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis; Jupiter in all its glory; Saturn…; and surprising and colourful features of faraway galaxies. It’s a coffee table book.
The photographers – entrants in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s 2018 astrophotography competition – provide information on how they took their photos; their camera, its lens, length of exposure; how far they had to trek, and to wait, to get the perfect shot. A great many of the pictures were taken through telescopes, in some cases remotely controlled from another continent. We learn about those. Then there is the ‘processing’; multiple exposures (sometimes into the thousands) are ‘stacked’, others stitched-together to make a panorama. Adobe Photoshop is used, and other software less well known outside specialist circles. It’s a photography book.
Both the photographers and professional astronomers add information on what we are looking at. Features of our own solar system become commonplace (fabulous as some of the pictures are); the real wonders are nebulae (clouds of glowing gas and dark dust) hundreds and sometimes thousands of light years away (they have names:- seahorse, eagle, witches broom….) and other galaxies – millions, or even billions, of light years away, each containing ‘millions (if not billions) of stars’. It’s an astronomy book.
And it’s an art book. If Michelangelo had been able to see Steven Mohr’s photograph of the spiral galaxy NGC 3521, it would surely have appeared as background on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Lluis Romero Ventura and Miguel Angel Garcia Borella’s ‘Mosaic of the Great Orion and Running Man Nebula’ put me in mind of Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus (a very different sort of Venus from the one seen in this book). The several very striking photographs of a vertical Milky Way would surely have appealed to J M W Turner. And the authors of this volume themselves mention Joseph Wright of Derby (an 18th century English artist with a scientific bent), as they do also Michelangelo.
I could go on, but I need not. If you are sufficiently interested in phenomenally good photographs of astronomical subjects, impeccably reproduced, to have come this far, don’t hesitate, buy the book.
To see our moon. planets, galaxies the whole universe in fact in photographs is very impressive.
Gathered together into this attractive book makes for a great gift for Christmas, or any other occasion, for anyone into this subject.
The book is well produced and presented.
At the back of the book are thumbnail size images to make it easy to find the photos you want to go to in place of a conventional index.
Included are details of the shot. Also sometimes extra information given is .
I am very impressed by the work and effort the photographers have gone to in order to achieve the result that they want to see.
I love the shot of the Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District. You see the eerie stone circle and behind that is the Aurora Borealis. Then I wondered if prehistoric people saw these sights and how that affected them.
The entire book gives a lot of inspirational thoughts. We live in this amazing place all the time.
The book cover to this looks a bit uninspiring. I flicked a page open from the books and was presented with a stunning photo of the moon surface. I turned to another page and was presented with another astonishing photo of the sun. This proved to be very interesting, I read more detail of the book. What becomes apparent is that a huge number of individuals have been taking photos of night sky and working hours, weeks, months, years for that one photo. There is huge effort gone into this and every picture has a story. There is some explanation of what you are looking at and a often a additional comment by the individual who took the shot. To get all this in one bound volume is staggering good value to my mind. I find this interesting, intriguing, inspiring and for the asking price is exceptional good value, I love this book, its a bargain.