Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Apr 19, 2012 - Photography - 162 pages

At first glance, the challenge of astrophotography may appear daunting. But not only are spectacular results possible, they are easy to learn with the step-by-step instructions provided in Stephan Seip's Digital Astrophotography: A Guide to Capturing the Cosmos. Today, amateurs can produce images that only twenty years ago a large professional observatory would have been proud of; and this book shows you how.

Learn how to:

  • Set up your camera for optimum results
  • Focus your camera for razor-sharp images
  • Take beautiful night shots with a simple compact digital camera, a tripod, and a telescope
  • Use a DSLR camera to shoot the Sun, Moon, stars, star clusters, and nebulae through your telescope
  • Get brilliant images of planets with a Webcam
  • Capture remote galaxies with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera just like a pro

    Also included are lessons on the processing that is done in the "studio" after your shoot, including how to:

  • Shoot RAW format images and improve them with calibration frames
  • Take short exposures of faint deep-sky objects and combine them into a longer exposure
  • Perform brightness, contrast, and color correction
  • Make corrections to correct for vignetting and uneven field illumination
  • Process your images for stunning results

    Equipment requirements for astrophotography range from nothing but a simple camera and tripod to a multi-thousand dollar computer controlled telescope equipped with a CCD auto-guider and separate guide-scope. Researching the best equipment for your needs is a task in itself. Seip helps you to sort out which cameras are best for the various celestial objects, what to look for when buying a camera, and what accessories you really need.

    The rewards of this fascinating hobby, as the author says, "Grants you unforgettable hours under the night sky; it allows you to produce aesthetically rewarding and lasting results. Astrophotography is a love-match between physics, photography, art, and digital image processing. It is exciting!"


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    Chapter 2 The Digital Compact Camera
    Chapter 3 The Webcam
    Chapter 4 The Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera
    Chapter 5 The Astronomical CCD Camera
    Web Links Addresses Further Reading
    Imaging Data of the Astrophotos

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