Catchers of the Light Books


"This book is truly a magnum opus, a labour of love, and a great work of scholarship. It is authoritative, detailed, thorough, superbly illustrated, well referenced, and all-encompassing. There is no nook or cranny of the history of astronomical photography or its proponents that has not been investigated, noted, and embellished with a relevant image. It is worth every single cent of its price. It is an essential addition to every astronomy library. Anyone with even a vague interest in the development of astrophysics will need to have this book to hand; it is a vital and reliable starting place for any historical research into the last two centuries of astronomical endeavour." Professor David W. Hughes, 'Observatory' magazine, February 2015. Read Full Review Here:

Look Who's Buying Our Books!

Cambridge University Institute of Astronomy

New York Met Museum

Paris Observatory

Royal Observatory of Scotland

Huntington Library

Many of the most famous and prestigious of scientific institutions, museum and libraries have purchased the 'Catchers of the Light' thus confirming the Book'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, includingL

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
  • Museum of Scotland;
  • Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University;
  • Paris Observatory;
  • Royal Observatory of Scotland; 
  • Huntington Library in California;


Our eBooks - click headings below
What People Are Saying
What People Are Saying About Our History of Astrophotography eBooks

Catchers of the Light:


“I’ve had many sessions going through the pages... As such, it took several nights just to flip through all of the pages, and it will take a lot of time to read it all in detail. Nevertheless, the more I read, the more I feel strongly about my initial impressions, which are that this is a tremendous piece of work. I’m amazed at the dedication you must have had to produce it.”
- Dennis Di Cicco, Senior Editor, Sky & Telescope Magazine


"To choose one subject not at random, since it is one I know quite a bit about, I turned to Hughes’s section about William Usherwood, who was the first person (beating Bond at Harvard out by a day) to photograph a comet, as my colleagues and I described in a journal (Pasachoff, Roberta J.M. Olson, and Martha L. Hazen, 1996, “The Earliest Comet Photographs: Usherwood, Bond, and Donati 1858,” J. Hist. Astron. 27, 129- 145) and in a book (Olson, Roberta J. M., and Pasachoff, 1998, Fire in the Sky: Comets and Meteors, the Decisive Centuries, in British Art and Science, Cambridge University Press). We were quite proud to have tracked down the little-known Usherwood and to have figured out where he had lived and worked. I am amazed to see that Hughes, in his section about Usherwood (pp. 363–386) not only included all our findings (properly crediting us) but also found him in census reports, discovered his life history and his father’s occupation, described his wife and the church in which they were married, and related his work to Donati and his comet and to the runner-up in comet photography, Harvard director George Phillips Bond. Even Usherwood’s wedding announcement and a picture of his grave are included! Unbelievable!"

-Jay M. Pasachoff, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy, Williams College, Massachusetts, USA


"What a unique book this is. Read and go with Dr. Hughes on a magical journey to the stars. How refreshing to read something so completely new and not get the feeling that you have read it all before. The author's painstaking research, knowledge and enthusiasm are really 'out of this world'. This is one of the best books of our time."

- Jonathan Taylor, Brisbane, Australia.


"A fascinating insight into the subject of Astrophotography. It is amazing that a single person has been responsible for creating this magnificent and incredibly interesting book. If anyone wants a good decent book in their library then it should be this one."

- Dora Studd, Felixstowe, Suffolk, England.


"With its sleek and innovative presentation and thought provoking title this book has to be a winner. You know from the minute you turn the first page that it is something special. Read it, learn from it, but above all enjoy it."

 - Peter Ross, Cork, Ireland.


"These Hitherto forgotten and anonymous pioneers of Astrophotography have been resurrected by Dr Hughes to give them their rightful place in history.These are not fictitious characters invented by the author but actual people with hopes and aspirations to push their chosen subject into the future. A history book, a reference book, a story book. A classic."

 - Claire Ferguson, Edinburgh, Scotland


"This is a great book on a fascinating subject that has an appeal to a wide audience. Your format and style has made it not only accessibe to as many of those as possible but has ensured also that each reader comes away with something new to think about with regards to the star watchers and the heavenly bodies themselves. So full of poetry and information, the book is not at all burdened as with an academic text. The short chapters adds to the good flow and the personal information that you bring of your own love and experiences with Astrophotography help connect the reader to the subject in an intimate way."

- Steve Seven, Harz, Germany






Reviews of the 'Catchers of the Light' - a History of Astrophotography by customers and others.

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