Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography

Here it is, Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography, finally! After almost a year the astrophotography book tons of people suggested I write is done and I had an absolute blast making it happen. Sure it was a lot of work, but it was also a ton of fun testing out theories and building projects. After all, if I can’t make sure it works I certainly don’t want to suggest you try it.

Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography Inside you will find a ton of information including a complete image processing walkthrough using only freely available software, tons of do it yourself projects and much more. If you are interested in astrophotography but just want to dip your toe in and not spend a fortune, this is the book to get you started. The book covers just about anything you need to know to get started, from budget telescopes, to the cheapest camera for astrophotography, DSLR astrophotography, astrophotography software and even software that will allow you to mimic  Photoshop on a budget. You can learn more about the book at http://www.allans-stuff.com/bap/ and discuss it at http://www.allans-stuff.com/forum/. Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography is available on Amazon or directly at https://www.createspace.com/4717736 and will be available in both print and Kindle editions.

Here is the description as it appears on Amazon:

Allan Hall makes learning how to photograph the night sky easy with his new book Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography. In this guide, you will learn the fundamentals of astrophotography – what it is, how it’s done, and how to do it yourself. Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography is divided into these three sections in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the basics of astrophotography.  
 
Understanding 
The first section of Hall’s guide focuses on understanding astrophotography. Amateur and professional stargazers know that one of the most important things to consider when viewing the heavens is light pollution. Light pollution is exactly what it sounds like – too much light in our environments makes it more difficult to get a good look at planets, stars, and other celestial bodies. If you want to get the best view and photo possible, you must find a location that has little light. This makes a huge difference. In addition to finding a good location for viewing and shooting, you will learn about camera basics, including how to mount a camera and focus a lens. Beyond that, you will read about various types of telescopes and what they do.  
 
Doing 
The title of the second segment of this reference guide speaks for itself. Once you’ve learned the fundamentals of location, cameras, and telescopes, it’s time to put your knowledge to use. This section discusses how to find targets, as in how to find objects of interest to shoot. From capturing images to camera and exposure settings, you will learn how to make the most of your instruments and location by taking a great shot. This section also discusses making videos, image stacking, and image editing, an important aspect of astrophotography. Many of the celestial shots we see are time-lapse or edited in some way (to improve clarity and reduce visual “noise”). While it may sound difficult, this reference guide simplifies the processes by providing step-by-step instructions. 
 
Building 
For the handy home astrophotographer, this section includes information about do-it-yourself projects. From modifying your equipment (for example, improving your focus capabilities, modifying a webcam for astrophotography, and even adapting your laptop screen to function in the dark) to building add-ons, you’ll learn how to enhance your experience in your own home. Hall provides information about creating glass solar filters for your cameras and even making your own dew heaters.  
 
Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography is a great reference guide for beginners and amateur astrophotographers. If you have an interest in astronomy and want to capture what you’ve viewed through a telescope, doing so is possible from your own home. Hall’s comprehensive guide also provides ideas about where to start (as in, what targets are best to photograph), where to find more information about astrophotography, and even a glossary of terms. Indulge your hobby and learn how to improve with Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography.


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4 Comments

  1. Few days ago I bought this book as the third in a row (after Long Exposure Astrophotography and Using an Equatorial mount) and realised, that Long Exposure Photography is the only book that contains all necessary information and the other too books are only shortened copies if it (the same text and pictures). It is a pity that this is not mentioned on your Amazon page. Now I am affraid that your other book on visual astronomy will be the same.

    • I am sorry you found the other two books unhelpful. Long Exposure contains more information aimed at long exposures, while budget contains much more DIY information that is not contained in Long Exposure. Budget also contains information on using free software like GIMP which is not available in any of my other books. Using an EQ mount contains much more information than any of my other books on EQ mounts however it is far less expensive and only available electronically which aims it more towards beginners with EQ mounts rather than astrophotographers which I assume to have at least a passing knowledge of mounts.

      Visual Astronomy does contain some of the same information, after all, finding and navigating the night sky is the same for long exposure AP, budget AP and visual astronomy so it is the same in all three books. Visual contains a lot more information on observable objects, the pioneers of astronomy and charts of upcoming astronomical events which is not available in any of my other books. If you want more original content than that I am afraid to say you might want to look elsewhere. If however you like the tone of the books you have, and want a book geared specifically towards visual (admittedly with some necessary repetitive information) then you might enjoy the visual book.

      Either way, I appreciate your comments and if you do decide to purchase the visual book, would love to hear your comments on it.

      Allan Hall

  2. Hi,
    I’ve got long Exposure and find it a great book to get started. …would there not be the fact that the book (at least in the Amazon.de version) does only contain b&w images. I really find it annoying when the process of color image processing is explained with b&w images only. My first reaction was really “You must be kidding!” when I looked in awe at those four b&w images where the text explains how that red, green and blue images are combined to the final color image… Just can’t stop wondering whether that was your intention or a budget saving trick of Amazon. While the text is really good and helpful, those b&w images are just useless. Now I saw in the preview (on Amazon.de) that Budget is printed in the same worthless b&w way. That’s really a pity. If there is a way to get the book with color prints, please let me know. If there’s none, I’m just curious to hear what you were thinking how those b&w images could possibly help anybody…

    • The Kindle versions are in color if it is that important to you. The reason I decided to make the books in black and white was very simple, cost. In order to make the same (very small) amount per sale the book in color would cost somewhere around $60. I simply did not see a justification for a $60 price tag.

      The actual full color images from the samples are available for download from the website.

      If I remember correctly the “look inside” on Amazon which lets you preview the book shows the images are all in black and white to let you know exactly what you are getting before you order it. Maybe on amazon.de it is different, I don’t honestly know.

      I am sorry you did not like the fact that Long Exposure was in black and white. I will warn you that all my books are that way, b&w in print and color in Kindle.

      Clear skies,

      Allan Hall

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