“Nightscapes & Time-Lapses” Goes Universal!


How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses

I’m pleased to announce that my “Nightscapes and Time-Lapses” eBook is now available for all devices as a “universal” PDF!

First published in 2014, and revised several times since then, my How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses eBook had been available only for Apple devices through the Apple iBooks Store. Not any more!

Over the years, many people have inquired about an edition for other devices, notably Android and Windows tablets. The only format that I can be sure the wide array of other devices can read and display as I intend it is PDF.

To convert the interactive Apple iBook into a PDF required splitting the content into two volumes:

Volume 1 deals just with Photography in 425 pages.

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Volume 2 deals just with Processing, also in 425 pages.

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Volume 2 includes all the same step-by-step tutorials as the Apple edition, but spread over many more pages. That’s because the Apple Edition allows “stacking” many processing steps into a one-page interactive gallery.

In the PDF version, however, those same steps are shown over several pages. And there are about 50 processing tutorials, including for selected non-Adobe programs such as Affinity Photo, ON1 Photo RAW, and DxO PhotoLab.

The other main difference is that, unlike the Apple version, I cannot embed videos. So all the videos are provided by links to Vimeo feeds, many “private” so only my ebook owners have access to those videos.

Otherwise, the combined content of the two PDFs is the same as the Apple iBooks edition.

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I’ve also updated the Apple iBooks version (to v3.1) to revise the content, and add a few new pages: on Luminosity Mask panel extensions, southern hemisphere Milky Way and Moon charts, and even the new Nikon Z6 camera. It is now 580 pages.

Owners of the previous Apple iBooks edition can get the updated version for free. In iBooks, check under Purchased>Updates.

Both Apple and PDF editions are now in sync and identical in content. I think you’ll find them the most comprehensive works on the subject in print and in digital.

To learn more and to buy, see my webpage at my AmazingSky site. 

Thanks!

— Alan, September 1, 2018 / © 2018 Alan Dyer / AmazingSky.com 

 

Milky Way Over the Icefields

The 2018 Edition of “Nightscapes and Time-Lapses”


Milky Way Over the Icefields

Revised and expanded, the new Third Edition of my Nightscapes and Time-Lapses eBook provides one of the most comprehensive guides to the subject you’ll find!

The 2018 Third Edition of my ebook How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses is now available at the Apple iBooks Store.

A detailed description and content listing is at my website at http://www.amazingsky.com/nightscapesbook.html where there is a link to the iBooks Store page.

Here’s a short promo video, one that also opens the ebook as one of the embedded videos.

I originally published this ebook in 2014, then revised it in late 2016. Here’s what’s new in this 2018 Third Edition:

  • Updated equipment (cameras, lenses, filters, time-lapse gear) to reflect what’s current as of mid-2018. For example I added: the Revolve Camera slider; functions from the Canon 6D MkII; and information about the Sony a7III Mirrorless. 
  • Updated the processing tutorials with current software: Photoshop CC2018, Lightroom Classic CC, Starry Landscape Stacker, TLDF, Timelapse Workflow, and LRTimelapse version 5.
  • Added tutorials on selected non-Adobe programs: DxO PhotoLab, ON1 Photo RAW, Affinity Photo, and the extensions Raya Pro 3 and Dr. Brown’s Services.
  • Added some 50 new topic pages, such as on memory cards and exposure blending.

In addition I’ve performed “housekeeping chores” such as:

  • Removing some embedded movies to reduce the file size and
  • Converting interactive diagrams into labeled images and
  • Flattening some of the interactive image galleries, all for facilitating conversion to PDFs for non-Apple platforms. 
  • Improving the resolution of most tutorial screenshot images.
  • Improving many diagrams and updating many images.
  • Merging the chapter on Intervalometers into Chapter 1.
  • Plus I’ve added a section on lunar eclipses back in. Yay!

Here are screen shots of sample chapter content pages, to provide an idea of what the ebook contains and looks like.

All current owners of the older editions get the Third Edition update for free through the iBooks app (Mac or iPad, and also iPhone).

I hope you enjoy the new edition. Tell your friends! And do leave a rating or review at the iBooks sales page. Thanks!

And yes, for non-Apple people, a non-interactive PDF version for all other platforms (Windows and Android) is in production for later this year.

Thanks!

— Alan, June 9, 2018 / © 2018 Alan Dyer / amazingsky.com

 

How to Shoot the Solar Eclipse


Total Eclipse of the Sun Composite (2006 Libya)

The most spectacular sight the universe has to offer is coming to a sky near you this summer. 

On August 21 the Moon will eclipse the Sun, totally!, along a path that crosses the continental USA from coast to coast. All the details of where to go are at the excellent website GreatAmericanEclipse.com

If this will be your first total solar eclipse, you might want to just watch it. But many will want to photograph or video it. It can be easy to do, or it can be very complex, for those who are after ambitious composites and time-lapses.

To tell you how to shoot the eclipse, with all types of cameras, from cell phones to DSLRs, with all types of techniques, from simple to advanced, I’ve prepared a comprehensive ebook, How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse.

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It is 295 pages of sage advice, gathered over 38 years of shooting 15 total solar eclipses around the world.

The book is filled with illustrations designed specifically for the 2017 eclipse – where the Sun will be, how to frame the scene, what will be in the sky, how the shadow will move, where the diamond rings will be, what lenses to use, etc.


Here are a few sample pages:

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I cover shooting with everything from wide-angle cameras for the entire scene, to close-ups with long telephotos and telescopes, both on tripods and on tracking mounts.


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I cover all the details on exposures and camera settings, and on focusing and ensuring the sharpest images. Most bad eclipse pix are ruined not by poor exposure but poor focus and blurry images – the Sun is moving!


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A big chapter covers processing of eclipse images, again, from simple images to complex stacks and composites.


Total Solar Eclipse C3 Diamond Ring and Totality (2012 Australia

For example, I show how to produce a shot like this, from 2012, combining a short diamond ring image with a long-exposure image of the corona.


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A final chapter covers “what can go wrong!” and how to avoid the common mistakes.


For details on the ebook content, see my webpage for the book at http://www.amazingsky.com/eclipsebook.html 

The ebook is available on the Apple iBooks Store for Mac and iOS devices. This version has the best interactivity (zoomable images), higher quality images (less compression), and easiest content navigation.

However, for non-Apple people and devices, the ebook can also be purchased directly from my website as a downloadable PDF, which has embedded hyperlinks to external sites.

I think you’ll find the ebook to be the most comprehensive guide to shooting solar eclipses you’ll find. It is up to date (as of last week!) and covers all the techniques for the digital age.

Many thanks, and clear skies on August 21, wherever you may be in the shadow of the Moon!

— Alan, February 28, 2017 / © 2017 Alan Dyer / amazingsky.com

 

My new eBook on Nightscapes & Time-Lapse Photography


Nightscapes Book Cover

I’m pleased to announce my new ebook, How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses

The ebook describes —

How to shoot and process still image “nightscapes” – images of landscapes taken at night by the light of the Moon or stars … and …

How to shoot and assemble time-lapse movies of the stars and Milky Way turning above Earthly scenes, all using DSLR cameras.

Available worldwide only for MacOS and iPads through the Apple iBookstore.

See http://tiny.cc/urdoqx for more about the book at iTunes.

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The 400-page multi-touch book includes

50 embedded HD videos (no internet connection required) demonstrating time-lapse techniques.

60 multi-page tutorials with step-by-step instructions of how to use software: Adobe Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop, Lightroom, LRTimelapse, Advanced Stacker Actions, StarStaX, Panolapse, Sequence, GBTimelapse, and more.

Numerous Photo 101 sections explaining the basic concepts of photography and video production (f-stops, ISOs, file types, aspect ratios, frame rates, compression, etc.).

Numerous Astronomy 101 sections explaining the basics of how the sky works (how the sky moves, where the Moon can be found, when the Milky Way can be seen, when and where to see auroras).

Reviews of gear – I don’t just mention that specialized gear exists, I illustrate in detail how to use popular units such as the Time-Lapse+, Michron, and TriggerTrap intervalometers, and the All-View mount, Radian, Mindarin Astro, eMotimo, and Dynamic Perception motion-control units, with comments on what’s good – and not so good – to use.

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You’ll learn —

• What are the best cameras and lenses to buy (cropped vs. full-frame, Canon vs. Nikon, manual vs. automatic lenses, zooms vs. primes).

• How to set your cameras and lenses for maximum detail and minimum noise (following the mantra of “exposing to the right” and using dark frames).

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• How to shoot auroras, conjunctions, satellites, comets, and meteor showers.

• How to shoot nightscapes lit only by moonlit, and how to determine where the Moon will be to plan a shoot.

• How to shoot & stitch panoramas of the night sky and Milky Way, using Photoshop and PTGui software.

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• How to shoot tracked long exposures of the Milky Way using camera trackers such as the iOptron Star Tracker and Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer.

• How to develop Raw files, the essential first step to great images and movies.

• How to process nightscape stills using techniques such as compositing multiple exposures, masking ground and sky, and using non-destructive adjustment layers and smart filters.

• How to shoot and stack star trail images made of hundreds of frames.

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• How to assemble time-lapse movies from those same hundreds of frames.

• How to plan a time-lapse shoot and calculate the best balance of exposure time vs. frame count vs. length of shoot, and recommended apps to use.

• How to process hundreds of frames using Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom.

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• How to shoot and process advanced “Holy Grail” time-lapse transitions from day to night.

• How to shoot motion-control sequences using specialized dolly and pan/tilt devices.

• How to use time-lapse processing tools such as LRTimelapse, Panolapse, Sequence, and Advanced Stacker Actions.

• What can go wrong and how best to avoid problems in the field.

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It’s a large, multi-media book available only for MacOS and iPads through the Apple iBookstore.

For technical and economic reasons, the book’s size and media content prevent it from being offered via other platforms such as Kindles and Android devices. It is not available as a static PDF or traditional print book. It’s subject makes use of an ebook’s ability to contain interactive and video content.

See http://tiny.cc/urdoqx for more about the book at iTunes. Available worldwide. It’s $24.95 in the U.S.