Photography has become a crucial medium for documenting the history of mankind, and the early exploration of space is one such historical event unrivalled among humanity achievements. Fortunately, the skill and daring of a very particular group of 'photographers' – the Apollo program astronauts – were able to bring back beautifully moving and instantly recognisable images from space.
The collection, entitled Apollo VII – XVII, created a new understanding of what it means to be human living on this planet and its relation to the sun and stars. Now, 225 of these images are to be presented in large format for the first time thanks to a new photography book of the same title. Bringing them to life and restoring the colour from the original scans of 70mm film the astronauts shot during their missions between 1968 and 1972.
But rather than simply focus on the historical or scientific value of the photographs, the authors of Apollo VII – XVII wanted to give merit to the photographic skill. In which case, some of the featured images have never been printed before.
The book begins with a unique and exclusive short essay written by Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham who flew on the very first manned Apollo mission. The text focuses on his pioneering experimentation and testing of the Hasselblad camera that flew with him on board. It was his endeavours that created the foundation for his fellow Apollo astronauts such as Anders Armstrong and Cernan to capture some of the most well-known photographs like the ‘Earthrise’ over the lunar surface, the first footprint on the moon or the iconic ‘Blue Marble’ capturing the whole of the Earth in one delicate frame. This essay, as Cunningham mentions, is the first time he has written his memories on this topic in print.
You can pre-order the book via www.theapollophotobook.com where you can also get your hands on six C-prints of the Apollo missions.
Via Creative Boom submission | All images courtesy of Apollo VII – XVII