Full Moon, 2013

This was taken on the Beckenham Road, Clock House, UK.

Full Moon  is a coffee table book (and exhibition catalogue), by Michael Light,  Andrew Chaikin and NASA. It was published in 1999 by Jonathan Cape/ Hayward Gallery. The exhibition was also called Full Moon.

The book is a photographic journey to the moon and back, drawn from NASA’s 32,000 pictures from the Apollo missions.

Here’s what it says on the dust jacket: “For the first time NASA has allowed 900 of the ‘master’ negatives and transparencies to be taken offsite for electronic scanning so as to produce the sharpest images of space that we have ever seen. From this selection of ‘master’ photographs Michael Light has distilled a single composite journey beginning with the launch, followed by a walk in space, an orbit of the Moon, a lunar landing and exploration and a return to Earth with an orbit and splash-down…These photographs reveal not only the hardware of lunar exploration in exquisite detail but also the profound aesthetics of space in what could be described as the ultimate landscape photography.”

And here’s the first paragraph:

They had done dangerous things before. Some had flown in combat. Others had landed a jet fighter on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the night in the open ocean. Almost all had pushed an unproven supersonic aircraft to the edge of its capabilities. And some, the veterans, had even ridden a rocket into space before. So it was not a completely novel sensation that greeted the three astronauts on launch morning, as they donned their space suits, left the crew quarters, and climbed into the transfer van for the ride to the pad.

It’s a beautiful book.

Michael Light has very generously put a number of the images online here.

In our house, this book can be found: sitting room, right-hand bookshelves, sixth shelf down.

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If you’re interested in what’s happening in space exploration now, I strongly urge you to visit Alex Autin’s blog, …things I LOVE!

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Thanks to the usual suspects (John, Deanne and Terry) for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Our latest collaboration can be found one post back.

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