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:

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Download for FREE an introduction to the 'Catchers of the Light' - the first comprehensive and fully researched History of Astrophotography. Or you can buy the complete eBook or Printed Book.
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History of Astrophotography Blog

Come visit 'Catcher' our colourful and vibrant Blog. Learn more about Astrophotography, its Historyand the pioneers who made it all possible.

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Recent Blogs have included a piece on William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse and how his story is that of a Real 'Downton Abbey', the Story of God's astronomer - Father Pietro Angelo Secchi, Ten Famous Astronomical Photographs and the Leprechaun's Guide to Digital Photography - the true story of how the CCD camera was invented.

E.2 Catchers of the Light - eBook Student Edition
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E.2 Catchers of the Light - eBook Student Edition
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eBook E.2
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The Student Edition of the 'Catchers of the Light' is a complete time unlimited version of the eBook, but is available only to bona fide students studying at School, College or University at a discounted price of $49.99.


To obtain the discounted Student Edition, just email us at, giving details of where you are studying and what type of course you are pursuing, and we will send you your discount code to get $30 off the normal purchase price of $79.99.


As such it will provide a valuable sources of information to any College or University student taking courses in Astronomy, Astrophysics, History of Science or Photography, but at a discounted price of $49.99.


It will also unfortunately (for the student that is) give their lecturers and professors a new dimension to their teaching and course content.


The 'Catchers of the Light' will give the student an unprecendented insight into many aspects of their learning experience. A few examples of which are given below.


For Astronomy and Astrophysics undergraduates it will provide a great source of reference for:


  • Role of Photography in Astronomy; Origins, Lunar, Solar, Solar System and Deep Space imaging;
  • Space Exploration of the Moon, Sun, Planets, Comets and Asteroids; from the early Mariner probes to Mercury, Venus and Mars, the Voyager misions to the outer planets, the Martian Rovers, Spirit & Opportunity and the demotion of the now planet Pluto;
  • Evolution of the Mapping the Heavens; from cave drawings, astronomical cartography to modern photographic surveys;
  • Classification of Stellar Spectra from the early work of Rutherfurd and Donati to the development of the Harvard Classification and onto the current Morgan-Keenan system;
  • Astronomical Spectroscopy; development from the time of Fraunhofer, Bunsen, Kirchhoff, Huggins, Secchi and E. C. Pickering and into the twentieth century;
  • Cosmology and the Distance Scale of the Universe; including the work of Hubble, Humason, Slipher, Shapley and Lemaitre;


For the History of Science scholar it will give detailed accounts of:


  • History of Scientific Photography; through the efforts of Arago, Fizeau, Foucault, Whipple, J. W. Draper and their contemporaries;
  • Role of the Church in Astronomy; the origins of the Jesuits and their influence on scientific thought, the Vatican Observatory;
  • Contribution of Women to the development of Photography and Science in general; e.g. Lady Margaret Lindsay Murray Huggins, Maria Mitchell, Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming and others;
  • History of the Telescope, from the time of Galileo, the Newtonian Reflector, the dominance of the Refractor in Astronomical Research, the introduction of Photographic Refractors, the coming of the Large Silvered Mirrored Reflector; and the modern optical systems of Ritchey-Chretien and Schmidt as used in today's 'super telescopes';


For the Photographic student it will cover the following important topics:


  • Description of early chemically based Photographic Processes, such as the Daguerreotype, the Collodion and the Gelatino-Bromide, etc.;
  • Advent of Plastic Film and the Introduction of the Digital Camera; monochromatic, orthochromatic, isochromatic and panchromatic emulsions; the work of George Eastman and the formation of KODAK; the role of Boyle, Smith and Tompsett in the use of the CCD as an imaging device;
  • Detailed Appendices containing definitions and accounts of all the major photographic processes, both chemical and digital;
  • Biographies of Early Pioneers including Louis Daguerre, Nicephore Niepce, John William Draper, John Adams Whipple, Frederick Scott Archer, Richard Leach Maddox and many others;


Not forgetting - it is above all else - a terrific read about 'True Tales of Adventure, Adversity and Ultimate Triumph'.


"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.

E.2 Catchers of the Light - eBook Student Edition
Important Notice

The 'Catchers of the Light' eBooks on the History of Astrophotography can NOW be read on Windows PCs & Androids, Apple Macs and iPads. 

Our Customers can use ANY or ALL of the following THREE different formats to read the 'Catchers of the Light':

  • A PDF (Printed Document Format) version, which can only be read on a PC or an Apple Mac running Windows emulation software. This version does not require Internet Access to be read, please 'right click' and choose 'Save Target As' option to download the free PDF version of the 'Catchers of the Light' Introduction PDF;
  • 'flip page' version for a PC or Mac, which makes use of your Internet Browser. It is compatible with IE, Opera, Firefox, and Safari. An Internet Connection is required for this version to be read.For an example of this new eBook reading experience, please click: 'Catchers of the Light' Introduction (if you are using a PC or Mac to view this page);
  • An iPad or Android 'flip page' version. An Internet Connection is required for this version to be read. For an example of this new eBook reading experience, please click:  'iPad: Catchers of the Light' Introduction (if you are using an iPad or Android to view this page);
  • iBook Versions for all our eBooks are NOW AVAILABLE on the iTunes Store, and can be read using a Mac or iPad.

The free unencrypted introduction to the 'Catchers of the Light' - History of Astrophotography can also be read on any PC, Mac iPad or Kindle with pdf reader software installed. When purchasing the complete 'Catchers of the Light', customers will be provided with Access/Download Instructions for ALL of the above THREE versions of the eBook.

For further information on our eBooks and the 'anti-piracy' software used to protect them, see Our eBooks page.




A complete eBook edition of the History of Astrophotography for Students, but available only for those studying at a School, College or University.

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.

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