The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has grown into one of the largest astrophotography competitions in the world. This third compilation of the best pictures submitted to the competition is in the same format as the previous two collections. The book is divided into sections including Earth and Space (showing Earthly scenery against a backdrop of the night sky), the Solar System, Deep Space, Young Astrophotographer, Best Newcomer, and also a new section for images taken with robotic telecopes. Just before these is a double page spread showing a night-time map of the Earth with the location marked of all the contributors, which is a nice touch.
Needless to say, for such a book to be successful the quality of reproduction has to be first rate and that is certainly the case here. The paper used is of a nice weight and the medium gloss finish adds just the right amount of sparkle. Some pages feature a single image as a double page spread and others contain a single image. A short piece of text by the contributor explains the image and adds a personal touch. The quality of submissions is outstanding and they include many pictures that were taken with very basic equipment (but with great ingenuity and from spectacular locations) that will hopefully inspire newcomers to the hobby to try their hand. This year’s overall winning entry by UK astrophotographer James Woodend features a wonderful view of a shimmering aurora reflected in the still waters of a glacier lagoon in Iceland. The final pages of the book include the images taken by the previous competition winners from 2009 through to the present.
Once again, Collins and the Royal Greenwich Observatory have produced a masterful assortment of some of the best astrophotographs in the world.
Reviewed by Nik Szymanek