We’ve all heard the issues with Kickstarter and other crowdfunded projects and the problems they get into sometimes. But when one is a book on Milky Way and night photography, we had to take a look. And when it has names like Royce Bair, Ben Canales, Joshua Snow, and Matt Payne involved, that’s worth a second look. Quoted from the Secret of the Stars Kickstarter page:

“Secrets from the Stars” is a high-quality, hardcover book, written by eight award-winning world-class night landscape photographers, each teaching us about what they do best.

The “Secret of the Stars” book will have eight noted photographers as authors. Each subject is covered from a personal perspective by an expert and acclaimed nightscape photographer – an authority and inspiration to many in the areas they chose to write on. Here’s a list of the authors and the topics they are writing about:

  • Royce Bair: LowLevel lighting
  • Ben Canales: The Human Figure in Nightscapes
  • Joshua Snow: The Magic of Stacking
  • Daniel Greenwood: Nightscape Composition and Creative Process
  • Matt Payne: “True to Experience” Nightscapes 
  • Sean Parker: The Adventure of Night Photography
  • Mack Murdoc: Light Painting 
  • Rogelio Bernal: Conceptual Nightscapes 

All these authors are recognized in their fields. Regelio Bernal, the person behind this project, is a renown deep-sky astrophotographer as well as a noted nightscaper. He’s had over 50(!) photos selected by NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). That says a lot about his skills!

Funding levels start with a $5 pledge, and for that, you get the satisfaction of helping out. The next level up is a $50 pledge, and that gets you the Secret of the Stars Kickstarter Early Bird Special, which is the book. There are several other funding levels, like if you want to get one book for yourself and someone special, you can get two for a $100 pledge. You can also pledge $750 and get your name listed in the book, as well as two copies. There are also a couple of sponsorship levels at $2,500 and $5,000.

OK – Kickstarter. Whenever anyone mentions Kickstarter, there’s the ever-present Kickstarter elephant in the room. There’s a risk that you may not get the item that you fund, and if the project does not reach funding, you may not get your money back as well. To learn more about Kickstarter’s policies, check out this page on Kickstarter Accountability.

That said, I may be signing up for “Secret of the Stars.” I have a birthday coming up soon – maybe I’ll get this as a birthday present to myself!

Kirk Keyes