Catchers of the Light: The Forgotten Lives of the Men and Women Who First Photographed the Heavens

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ArtDeCiel Publishing, 2012 - Photography - 1612 pages
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'Catchers of the Light' is a History of Astrophotography. It tells the true stories of the 46 pioneers who did most to master the art of celestial photography, as it was known during its early days; and whose efforts have made it possible for us to see the many magnificent pictures of the Universe featured in books, magazines and on the internet. 

In its TWO magnificent volumes is contained an unbelievable collection of tales of adventure, adversity and ultimate triumph and tells the uplifting stories of this small band of ordinary men and women, who did such extraordinary things; overcoming obstacles as diverse as war, poverty, cholera, death, very unfriendly cannibal natives and even exploding donkeys.

It has been written with a no specific audience in mind - it is a book for anybody in fact - astronomers, photographers, historians, genealogists, art dealers, students, artists, doctors, farmers, builders, teachers & many more. If you like to read about the lives of special people - those who never give up - no matter what - and who succeed in achieving the seemingly impossible - then this is the book for you.

This book of 1600 or so pages, with 1800 or more photographs/illustrations and over 2000 references/notes - represents the FIRST fully detailed and professionally researched book on the subject; and tells of the incredible lives of the pioneers of Astrophotography, each with their own incredible story to tell - they were the ‘Catchers of the Light’.

Catchers of the Light is divided into ten Parts (I-X), each covering a specific aspect of the subject- I: Origins of Astrophotography; II: Lunar Astrophotography; III: Solar Astrophotography; IV: Solar System Astrophography; V: Deep Space Astrophotography; VI: Photographic Astronomical Spectroscopy; VII: Photographic Sky Surveys; VIII: Astrographs; IX: Modern Digital Age; X: Appendices.

The following men and women are to be found in the pages of the book; who are the 'Catchers of the Light':

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre (1787-1851); Joseph Nicephore Niepce (1765-1833);  Frederick Scott Archer (1814-1857); Richard Leach Maddox (1816-1902); John William Draper (1811-1882); Maurice Loewy (1833-1907); Pierre Henri Puiseux (1855-1928); William Henry Pickering (1858-1938); Armand Hippolyte Leon Fizeau (1819-1896); Jean Bernard Leon Foucault (1819-1868); Warren De La Rue (1815-1889); Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen (1824-1907); John Adams Whipple (1822-1891); William Usherwood (1821-1915); Pierre Paul Henry (1848-1905); Mathieu Prosper Henry (1849-1903); Maximillian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf (1863-1932); William Cranch Bond (1789-1859); George Phillips Bond (1825 -1865); Benjamin Apthorp Gould (1824-1896); Henry Draper (1837-1882); Isaac Roberts (1829-1904); William Edward Wilson (1851-1908); James Edward Keeler (1857-1900); Edward Emerson Barnard (1857-1923); Williamina Paton Strevens Fleming (1857-1911); Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816-1892); Father Pietro Angelo Secchi (1818-1878); William Huggins (1824-1910); Margaret Lindsay Murray (1848-1915); Edward Charles Pickering (1846 - 1919); Hermann Vogel (1841-1907); Wilhelm Oswald Lohse (1845-1915); Julius Scheiner (1858-1913); Edwin Powell Hubble (1889-1953); Milton Lasell Humason (1891-1972); Amedee Ernest Barthelemy Mouchez (1821-1892); David Gill (1843-1914); William Parsons (1800-1867); Andrew Ainslie Common (1841-1903); George Willis Ritchey (1864 1945); Henri Chretien (1879-1956); Bernhard Voldemar Schmidt (1879-1935); . Eugen von Gothard (1857-1909); Alfred Rordame (1862-1931); Marcel De Kerolyr (1873-1969).

If you have seen or read ‘Longitude’ the story of John Harrison, the country carpenter who built the first clock that could accurately tell the time at sea, and who also made ‘Del Boy’ a ‘millionaire’, then you will love the ‘Catchers of the Light’.

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About the author (2012)

Stefan Hughes began his career as a professional astronomer, gaining a 1st Class Honours degree in Astronomy from the University of Leicester in 1974 and his PhD four years later on the ‘Resonance Orbits of Artificial Satellites due to Lunar-Solar Perturbations’, which was published as a series of papers in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. After graduating he became a Research fellow in Astronomy, followed by a spell as as a lecturer, firstly in the Department of Engineering at Warwick University and then in Applied Mathematics at Queen Mary College, University of London. Then came a ten year long career as an IT Consultant, working on large technology infrastructure projects for an international software house. In ‘mid life’ he spent several years retraining as a Genealogist, Record Agent and Architectural Historian, which he practiced for a number of years before moving to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. During his time working as an Architectural Historian and Genealogist, he was a regular contributor to Family History and Period Property Magazines. For the past ten years he has been imaging the heavens, as well as researching and writing the ‘Catchers of the Light’ - ‘Featuring the Forgotten Lives of the Men and Women Who First Photographed the Heavens’.

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