In this exceptionally handsome volume, veteran astronomy author, editor, and columnist Terence Dickinson teams up with top astrophotographer Jack Newton to present the wonders of the sky in more than 200 color photographs. Along with stunning photos by the authors and contributing amateur astronomers, this detailed book offers the latest practical information on how every backyard photographer can capture those celestial wonders. The book’s subtitle, “A Practical Guide to Photographing the Night Sky, perfectly describes what this book is all about.
Some of the most impressive astronomy pictures, including many found in this book, were taken with a standard 35mm camera set on a tripod and loaded with off-the-shelf high speed film. The authors demonstrate why 24mm and 28mm lenses are preferred for constellation shots, and provide tips on the length of exposure and the use of timed-delay settings.
Dickinson and Newton start with the basics of camera-on-tripod and camera-on-telescope and then cover advanced techniques including:
Tracking the target: Amateur photographers proved that cameras and lenses on tracking mounts are powerful tools to record such astronomical events as the 1996 appearance of Comet Hyakutake and the 1997 Comet Hale-Bopp. All the details of the use of these mounts is fully explained along with answers to the most common question, "What f/stop should I use?"
Use of film: Every 35mm color film was thoroughly tested, and the top eight (by speed and brand name) are described and evaluated.
CCD cameras: In these digital age cameras, film is replaced by a silicon chip called a charge-coupled device (CCD). The authors provide invaluable information on how they work and what to look for if purchasing a CCD.
Throughout the book, the authors emphasize the how-to aspects of creative photography to help amateur photographers achieve the maximum splendor in their astronomical shots. Numerous examples produce an information-packed book that is truly beautiful. According to the authors, "astrophotography is more an art than a science, with the photographer taking the creative lead . . . The photographer soon learns what works and what doesn't – what type of night is worth pursuing for that elusive shot and when it is better to quit and go to bed." Splendors of the Universe makes it easier for amateur and experienced photographers alike to capture the incredible splendors of the sky.
Author Terence Dickinson has more than a million copies of his fourteen books on astronomy in print in three languages, including NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. Co-author Jack Newton is regarded as one of the world's foremost non-professional astrophotographers. His celestial portraits have appeared in hundreds of publications. While he lives on Vancouver Island in Canada, he is designing an observatory for installation in Florida that will run remotely from his den, enabling him to photograph the night sky on both sides of the continent at once.
A review in Booklist called Splendors of the Universe “A practical, colorful guide for sky watchers who would like to photograph the night sky for its pretty-picture qualities – and at low cost, which means an upper limit of a couple of hundred dollars spent on a used 35mm camera, a few lenses, and a tripod.”
Laminated hardcover, 144 9” x 11” pages, many full color photos.