Best Astrophotography Books [2021]

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Below are 11 of the best astrophotography books you can buy – all are available on Amazon.

Some suit beginners, whilst others are for intermediate or advanced astrophotographers shooting deep sky objects. Also included are a few books that are less instructional and just share amazing astronomy images.

Best books about Astrophotography

Astrophotography by Thierry Legault

best astrophotography books

I would describe this as the first “serious” book about astrophotography on this list.

Thierry Legault is a world-renowned astrophotographer and in this book he provides a comprehensive overview of all different types of astrophotography – from the moon, to the Milky Way, to far off galaxies and other deep-sky objects.

It includes guides on how to select the best equipment and covers DLSR and CCD cameras. It also covers advanced techniques using telescopes and post-production of images.

This book is perfect for someone that already has some astrophotography experience and is looking to take it farther. An absolute beginner should look to one of the three books above.

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Astronomy Photographer of the Year photobook

The Astronomy Photographer of the year competition has been running for some years now.

Find all the winning images from the finalists in 2020 in this quality hardcover book.

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The Ultimate Guide To Master Astrophotography

astrophotography book

A great new book released in 2019 that covers the basics of getting starting in landscape astrophotography with a DSLR or similar camera.

It focusses on how to take pictures of subjects like the stars, the Milky Way, the moon, and the Northern Lights.

It outlines what equipment is needed and how to shoot, etc. A good astrophotography book for beginners.

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Photography: Night Sky (A Field Guide for Shooting after Dark) by Jennifer Wu & James Martin

beginners astrophotography books

Another good overview for beginners and would suit someone with a DLSR to play around with.

This book focuses on the basics of night sky photography, covering the Milky Way, star trails, and the moon, as well as general landscape photography in low-light.

It doesn’t cover more advanced deep-sky techniques – so see some of the options below if this is what you’re after – but for a great introduction to photographing the night sky this is perfect.

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Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography by Allan Hall

Astrophotography books for beginners

This book is a great introduction to astrophotography that would suit beginners and those that already have some knowledge but are looking to learn more.

It includes a number of projects to try that would work with basic cameras or even smartphone cameras and so makes a good starting point for those that want to learn more before deciding whether or not they need more equipment that might be expensive.

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Night Photography and Light Painting: Finding Your Way in the Dark by Lance Keimig

Night Photography book

This is a big, meaty book that covers many aspects of astrophotography and would suit a beginner or intermediate alike.

The book includes a lot of information about night photography in general, as well as astrophotography.

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The New CCD Astronomy: How to capture the stars with a CCD camera in your own backyard by Ron Wodaski

CCD astrophotography books

This book is recommended by deep sky astrophotographer Ken Crawford in an interview with him we did here on how he captures far off nebulae.

The book is focused on deep-sky astrophotography with a CCD camera and a telescope and so is for advanced astrophotographers.

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The Astrophotography Manual: A Practical and Scientific Approach to Deep Sky Imaging by Chris Woodhouse

Deep Sky Imaging book

This is the third advanced astrophotography book that is recommended on this list. It is also a recent release and so is fully up-to-date.

As with the above two books, it suits individuals with at least some knowledge of astrophotography already, although it does cover all the steps from planning to polishing your images.

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Capturing the Universe by Rhodri Evans

Astrophotography image books

Newly released in 2019. Not a book that will teach you astrophotography, but rather a collection of the best images around.

This is the most beautiful book on this list and is a classic ‘coffee table book’ that you’d have lying around to go through at your leisure. 

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Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA by Nirmala Nataraj

NASA images books

Another gorgeous book that would make for a perfect gift for someone that is into NASA and space exploration.

It is a collection of some of NASA’s most amazing photographs from across the cosmos.

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The Hubble Cosmos: 25 Years of New Vistas in Space by David H. Devorkin & Robert W. Smith

Hubble images books

Finally, a third option of a great book bringing together mind-blowing images.

This book tells the story of the Hubble telescope and is a perfect gift for a budding stargazer.

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What’s your favorite astrophotography book?

Ask pretty much any successful astrophotographer what the best way to learn is, and they will pretty much all say “just get out there and try”.

Whilst there is no substitute to taking action and learning from your mistakes, this should be balanced with learning from others that know more than you and can help make that time dedicated to taking pictures more productive.

One of the best value ways to learn is through reading books written by the experts.

A good book will often take you deeper than, say, reading a blog post (which we often just scan) and can be much cheaper in comparison to taking online courses or receiving in-person tuition, for example.

The above brings together a wide range of some of the best astrophotography books available. From great guides for beginners to advanced photographers, and also inspirational collections of the best images in the world.

If you have any suggestions of must-read books on astrophotography then please share your recommendations in the comments below.

If you are interested in books about astronomy and space, then see here.


3 thoughts on “Best Astrophotography Books [2021]”

  1. My 2018 book “Cruise Ship Astronomy and Astrophotography” is the first ever written on the subject.

    It is a must read for those who are going on a cruise ship and want to take pictures of the sea and sky that no landlubber can ever duplicate.

  2. “Astrophotography is Easy! Basics for Beginners” was written by me for the absolute beginner in astrophotography. The book covers all astrophotography aspects for beginners and Ch. 23 provides a wealth of references that can be accessed online for those who buy the book.
    “Astrophotography is Easy! Basics for Beginners” has favorable reviews by Sky and Telescope and Physics Today magazines.
    It is available in paperback and Kindle.


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