Taking photos on the moon

The photos astronauts took on the surface of the moon are still amazing. I mean, I have been to some pretty cool locations and shot with all kinds of wonderful people. But how do you compete with “I was on the moon!” In photography, like real estate, location, location, location…

As you would expect, the astronauts weren’t rolling with Kodak Instamatics. The quick and dirty answer is that the Apollo 11 astronauts used Hasselblad 500ELs. And an interesting bit of trivia is that they left the cameras on the moon to save weight so they could bring back moon rocks.

The slightly more complicated answer is that there were other cameras on the mission. There were two 16mm Maurer motion picture cameras, a color television camera in the Columbia orbiter, and a black and white TV camera on the lunar module that captured Neil Armstrong’s famous first steps. There was also a newly commissioned Kodak stereo close-up camera used to capture details of the lunar soil.

In the spirit of this, our top image today is of some negatives from a roll of film I just had developed. And just for kicks, I dropped it in Photoshop and pushed some buttons so you can get an idea of what those turned out like.

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