Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

21 Top Tips for Night Photography

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Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark is a 50 page, 9500 word guide to night time photography. Each of the 21 tips is illustrated with a range of my images and each tip comes with further explanations to help you improve and develop your skills as a nocturnal photographer.

The eBook is broken down into four sections:

  • The Basics
  • Night Photography in Urban Areas
  • Photographing the Night Sky
  • Photographing the Aurora Borealis

Many of the tips are illustrated with real life tales of the stories behind the shots, as I seek to bring you back with me to the times and places when I was perched on a mountain top in the dark, or by a ruined castle in the middle of the night, seeking just that perfect shot for that evening. As such, I've sought to make this more that simply a 'how to' book, but rather something that is a bit more autobiographical, one that gives you an insight into the whole process behind the thrill of being a landscape photographer.

The eBook is available as a high quality pdf (14.1MB) and can be viewed on computers, tablets or smart phones. 



I couldn’t help but feel inspired with a warm smile as my thoughts turned towards the night sky thanks to Alistair’s profound passion for photography and the outdoors ... Don’t be surprised if you feel the urge to reach for your coat after reading this book!
— Martin McKenna, Night Sky Hunter

"Once picked up, ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’ is hard to put down thanks to Alistair Hamill’s fresh and engaging writing style which takes the reader on a journey experienced through the viewfinder of a photographer who has cast aside the comforts of sleep to capture the mysteries of our night sky and enthralling landscapes across N. Ireland.  

Relax in a cosy seat and let Alistair take you on a tour across Co. Antrim and Co Down while learning valuable tips which can only be learned by one who has spent hundreds of hours in the ‘field’ learning his craft first hand while battling the elements through all four seasons of the year. This pleasant book is filled with stunning imagery ranging from night panoramas of Belfast City, to the wonderful celestial delights in our skies, such as the Milky Way from the Mourne Mountains and the spectacular Aurora Borealis over the ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle.

Don’t be surprised if you feel the urge to reach for a coat after reading this book, for Alistair is one of the few writers out there who makes the reader feel they are there with him laying in the snow or getting whipped by gales in order to get that perfect image.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’  is so much more than a ‘how to’ for this book is really about passion and one man’s quest to experience nature first hand while balancing his love for both his family and his photography.  I read it all in one go and couldn’t help but feel inspired with a warm smile as my own thoughts turned towards the night sky and my camera bag thanks to Alistair’s profound passion for photography and the outdoors."

Martin McKenna 

Night Sky Hunter - Astro & Severe Weather Photographer

The Beginner's Guide to Aurora Forecasting

Expected publishing date: October 2015

Since folks in the UK have become aware that we can even see the aurora without having to get on a plane to fly to Iceland, increasing numbers of us are becoming fascinated by these glorious displays. Every once in a while headlines cry out to us of a possible aurora display in the next night or two and vast hordes of us seem to stream north in the hope of catching our first view. And yet, more often than not, these over-hyped events fail to deliver and thousands head back home again, disappointed at the no show. “But the forecast said Kp 6!” someone will cry. Maybe so. But when it comes to all things aurora, there are no guarantees.

Having said that, it’s not completely matter of pure luck (although luck does play a big part – that said, I’m still a great believer in the saying, “Work hard to make your own luck!”). If you understand a bit more of what factors influence the aurora and how they need to interact to produce a decent mid-latitude display, you’ll be more likely to be able to read the charts for yourself and be better placed to respond when the next big display happens.

The purpose of this eBook, then, is to pull back a little of the mystery surrounding all things aurora. It's pitched it to those who know very little about the aurora or indeed science. If talk of Kp values, Bz, IMF, CMEs and the like leave you baffled, then read this book without fear. By the time you've finished, you’ll at least recognise these terms and hopefully be able to understand a bit more what is being said when people refer to them!

The explanations are broken down into a series of key subsections. At the end of each subsection, there are hyperlinks to real time data so that you can put your new found expertise to the test. And there is a summary of each section in the form of an expanding set of key questions to ask when trying to forecast the aurora.