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Capturing the Stars: Astrophotography by the Masters Hardcover – 1 Jun 2009
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An eclectic collection of imagery compiled by one of the world's leading masters of astronomical imaging and features a potent mix of both amatuer and professional offerings. The book is printed in landscape format and its 9.5 x 11 inch size is perfect for the display of this type of material. The book opens with a foreward by professional astrophsycist and author Neil deGrasse tyson and continues witha short prefarce and introduction by Gendler. it's then straight onto the imagery that is accompanied by short biographies of the astrophotographers. the first two are featured are set in a historical cobtext, starting with EE Branard, a professional astronamer whose pioneering work at the end of the ninteenth century produced outstanding photographs of the Milky way. Next is William C Miller, who produced some of the best colour images of all tiem while working at the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories. The book then jumps to the present day with every apge featuring a breathtaking image, sometimes taken with just a huble DSLr camera but showing glorious constillations or the ghostly wraith of an aurora over a frozen landscape. Professional images are represented also and no book on astrophotography would be complete without images bt david malin, who worked as a photographic scientist at the Anglo-Australian Observatory form 1975 untill 2001. His amazing images inspired generations of amatuer astronomers and the pioneering technques he developed for photographic emulsions have become essential for modern digital photographers. I had several favourite contributions by the time I reached the end of this book. The amazing high-resolution solar corona images by Miroslav Druckmuller along with his images of Comet Mcnaught are breathtaking. The UK's own Damian Peach is rightly featured here with otustanding images of Jupiter, saturn and Mars, which i consider to be the best in the world. andy many contemporary amatuer images, such as Russell Croman, Damian Verschatse, Johannes Schedler, Ken Crawford and of course Robert gendler himself have contributed outstanding imagery. The latter is to be congratulated for sourcing such gems and the low price of the book makes this a compulsory purcahse for any shelf of any aspiring astrophotographer. --Astronomy Now, November, 2009
From the Back Cover
To gaze at the stars is to look at the infinite wonder of the universe. To capture the details and beauty of the night sky in photographs is a tantalizing scientific art that many attempt and few master. That rare mastery is on full display in this gallery of spectacular portraits taken by the most accomplished astrophotographers in the world. Turn the pages for a breathtaking showcase of aurora, constellations, comets, eclipses, the sun, the moon, planets, galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae. This stunning volume is essential for every stargazers bookshelf.
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However I do have some criticisms. Nowhere are there any details of the exposure or of the telescope used. It would have been nice to have an appendix with this information and perhaps also an indication of the scale. The page numbering system is a little odd. Pages 1-8 occur before the list of contents. Also, in many cases the pictures cover the whole page and in this case the page numbers are not printed. This means having to search for a numbered page and then counting from there to locate a particular page number.
I have noticed some glaring and quite inexplicable factual errors in the figure captions. On Page 41 there is a picture of a crescent moon, 3 or 4 days old. The caption says"Earth's shadow transforms the lunar surface into a stark and desolate landscape of mountains, valleys and craters". What is this supposed to mean? The Earth's shadow has got nothing to do with the visibility of features on a crescent moon.
On Page 42, there is a picture of a transit of Mercury. The caption is quite explicit that what is seen is the SHADOW of Mercury on the sun and not Mercury itself.
However these are relatively minor points and this is a book which I have no hesitation in recommending.
I do wish more technical details were given explaining how (exposures, imagers, processing, telescopes, and mounts) these fantastic images were aquired.
I look forward to a sequel!