Catchers of the Light Books


"It is rare to find a magnum opus in astronomy that is so detailed, so interesting, and so expert over a wide range that it is hard to carry across the magnificence of this work...I highly recommend this .. to all with an interest either in the history of astronomy or in the history of photography." Jay M. Pasachoff, Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College; from April 2013 Newsletter of the Historical Astronomy Division, American Astronomical Society. See HAD News for full review. 

Look Who's Buying Our eBooks!

Sky & Telescope April      
2013 Edition


Readers of Sky & Telescope have been learning about and buying the 'Catchers of the Light' after it was featured in the magazine's new product showcase: 


"ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY HISTORY: Author Stefan Hughes has self-published Catchers of the Light: A History of Astrophotography ($79.99). This compendium chronicles the lives and contributions of the pioneers of astronomical photography, with an emphasis on the early pioneers of the 19th century. Each chapter is devoted to a particular astrophotographer, such as Henry Draper and John Adams Whipple, and includes little-known background information on the subjects relating to their lives. The book discusses the first astronomical photographs of the Moon and the development of spectroscopy all the way up to the growing role of the amateur astrophotographer in the modern digital age."


New York Metropolitan Museum


One of the world's greatest treasure houses - New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, has purchased the 'Catchers of the Light' for its Library, thus confirming this eBook's status as an invaluable source of reference on the History of Astronomical Photography; and indeed astronomy, astrophysics, history of science and photography in general.

Our eBooks - click headings below
What it Contains

'Catchers of the Light' Photo Montage


'Catchers of the Light' - 9 Parts & 8 Appendices


'Catchers of the Light' - 1800 Photos 

 'Catchers of the Light' - 46 Pioneers

History of Astrophotography - First Complete, Detailed and Researched eBook
A History of Astrophotography

Catchers of the Light Printed Book


Buy the Printed Book of the 'Catchers of the Light Now! - for just $199

Available NOW in TWO Magnificent Hand Bound Hardback Volumes


'Catchers of  the Light' - eBook


Buy the Complete eBook Edition Now! - for just $79.99


Read the Introduction to the 'Catchers of the Light' as a Flip Book: PC/Mac version or iPad version

The 'Catchers of the Light'

“Every day our eyes catch the light of our memories – time spent with family, the journey to work, a special holiday, a beautiful sunset or a dark starlit night. Each image captured is a picture drawn in light – a photograph: only to be lost in our minds or forever forgotten. Nearly two hundred years ago a small group of amateur scientists achieved what had eluded mankind for centuries – the ability to capture a permanent record of an image seen by their own eyes – a moment in time frozen onto a surface. They had discovered Photography. They Were the Catchers of the Light". 

Catchers of the Light


Let Us Now 'Meet the Catchers'

About the eBook

The ‘Catchers of the Light’ is very different from any other book you will have ever read - written with a no specific audience in mind, only intended for those who like to read about the lives of special people - those who never give up - no matter what - and who succeed in achieveing the seemingly impossible. 


It is read by people from many walks of life - anybody in fact - astronomers, photographers, historians, genealogists, art dealers, students, artists, doctors, farmers, builders, teachers & many more...


An unbelievable collection of tales of adventure, adversity and ultimate triumph and tells the uplifting stories of a 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. 


Only they are ALL TRUE! - of the men and women who first photographed the heavens. 


Not written in the style of a dull and dreary textbook; but presented as a family history that will have an appeal to the widest of audiences.


It is not a work of hearsay and anecdotes, but 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 heavens featured in books, magazines and on the internet.


The 'Catchers of the Light' is more than just a History of Astrophotography.


Based entirely on information obtained from genealogical research into original records, contemporary accounts of the people who knew them and important documents provided by their living descendants.


Its 1600 or so pages, its 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’.


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.


Read More ...


The Modern 'Canterbury Tales'


The ‘Catchers’ series of stories like Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales are about the lives of ordinary people told against a common ‘backdrop’, his was a Pilgrimage and here it is Astrophotography; but both were of adventure, adversity and triumph - only the ‘Catchers Tales’ are true and based entirely on fact.


The ‘Catchers Tales’, each feature a single story taken from the book the ‘Catchers of the Light’. This book tells of the men and women who first photographed the heavens. Their lives are ones full of adventure, adversity and triumph - which would test the abilities of even the best author or screenwriter to recreate as a work of fiction. Sadly their names are largely unknown and all but forgotten - confined now to the closed pages of history. Through the ‘Catchers Tale’ you are about to buy and read, they come alive once again. 

The 'Catchers  Tales'



'Catchers of the Light' Astrophotography Website


'Catchers of the Light' are also proud to introduce our own Astrophotography website where the modern day astro-imager will find the largest collection of FREE resources, catalogues and tools available on the web.


Here you will find all the well known astronomical catalogues with images: Messier, Caldwell, Herschel 400, NGC/IC, bright star etc.;

For the dedicated imager there is a CCD and Eyepiece Calculators with hundreds of inbuilt camera, eyepiece and telescope combinations;


And a Lunar Features dtabase of over 2000 craters, seas, oceans, bays, marshes, mountains etc.


For the historian an astrophotography timeline, a gallery of early astronomical images, and biographies of famous astronomers and pioneer astrophotographers is also to be found.


Our Astrophotography Website


'Catchers of the Light'                       
Astrophotography Website

History of Astrophotography - Catchers of the Light is the first fully professionally researched and referenced Book on the subject.
History of Astrophotography - First Complete, Detailed and Researched eBook

Dr. 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 Lunisolar 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 a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Queen Mary College, London. Then came a ten year long career as an IT Consultant. 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, where for the past ten years he has been imaging the heavens, as well as researching and writing the 'Catchers of the Light' - A History of Astrophotography.

History of Astrophotography Credit Cards


Tales Banner

Powered by Catchers of the Light - A History of Astrophotography
ASP.NET Shopping Cart Software