My own copy has arrived in South Africa. As with all my books, it is lying on my table and no-one is allowed to touch except me. One should not attack a new book. The covers should be opened gently and pages turned slowly one by one. A book needs to adjust to its surroundings and get used to its new owner.
In due course when this process has run its course, I will tell you more about this wonderful publication….
My first impression was the weight of the book. A great deal of information lay waiting behind the impressive front cover. For a day or two I pondered over the enormous task the author had undertaken. Somehow I just knew that I had laid my hands on a special publication.
The moment of thruth. Hands washed, I turned the cover and paged gently. Goals, history, learning curve, creative vision, correct subject lighting, technical proficiency, practicing with your equipment, BASIC ASTRONOMY, sunrise/sunsets, solar cycle sunspot progression, timing of landscape photography, analemmas. Beautiful layout of stunning images and the coolest diagrams with the turn of every page. I realised that I had only reached page 100 and there were 340 more!
Will I ever become the professional landscape astro-photographer of the calibre of Mike Shaw? Most probably not, but I will have a better understanding of what I am actually doing when I point my camera at the night sky. Most important, I will have a better appreciation of the art of the professional landscape astro-photographer.
What I hold dear is how Mike Shaw always shares his expert experiences without an attitude of: do as I say. In this book he lays emphasis on reflecting your personal creative vision.
I would say Landscape AstroPhotography is going to be more important to me in the long run than buying extra expensive equipment. It will provide a solid foundation to build apon in order to reflect my own personal vision.