Non Fiction

The World at Night: Spectacular photographs of the night sky by Babak Tafreshi

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I have always liked the idea of a book of photographs. My (late) grandfather once shared a treasured old copy of black and white photos with me by binding it anew and writing on it in the front flap (as well as censuring a few pics as elders are wont to do when giving kids western photos). I still carry that around with me sometimes, and the range of those pictures are very different, but they focus on people and expressions. Another shared time we had was talking against the night sky (it was in the middle of a city with lots of lights, and therefore most days we did not see much of the stars). This book seemed to be a combination of the two, so I had to check it out.

It is more than a book of photos, it is a book about those photos. The sections are divided unambiguously, giving us different versions of all the things that can be seen during the night in the sky. Many of them have fiddly information about how the picture was captured, and many are a series of exposures put into one frame. Capturing the night sky is an art, and this collection by various photographers comes with what was done to create the final picture. Although this might impress the people in the know because they would understand how difficult it was to come about, to a layperson with little to no understanding of the mechanics of photography it seemed a little superfluous. I liked the book and would enjoy owning a physical copy to browse through in leisure someday, but I did not feel as thrilled as I expected to go in. Maybe it was the expectation or the fact that I was looking at a digital copy with a limited time window for me to peruse through them. I would recommend this to those with even a passing interest in the field though since it might mean more to them than it did to me.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own inherent bias towards the night sky and to photographs in general.



2 thoughts on “The World at Night: Spectacular photographs of the night sky by Babak Tafreshi”

  1. I think that’s the kind of book you really need to see in a physical form, isn’t it. Looks pretty amazing although I’m not bothered about the fiddly information (my husband loves that stuff, but I take more photographs than him …).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess its the professional Vs just lovers of photography kind of thing. But night skies probably need more work to capture at the same intensity that our eyes perceive it. This is definitely a book which would be better owned in a physical format!!! It’s joined my maybe someday list of books like this 😂


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