Photography in Space: Not Quite Like Earth

Don Pettit with ISS Expedtion 31 (Credits: Don Pettit/NASA).

On September 13, astronaut Don Pettit, only months back from his third stint on the International Space Station, spoke at the Luminance conference for “the intersection of business, technology, culture, and photography.” Pettit, who is an avid photographer and took some spectacular shots from his perch in the station’s cupola, described both his equipment – much of it rigged – and his philosophy of space photography. “Space is a frontier,” he explained, and photography is one way to bring the frontier home.

Bringing the frontier home can sometimes be uncomfortable. Pettit exposes this discomfort, discussing NASA’s preference for images that reflect Earth sensibilities, as opposed to the dynamics of life that develop when living on a space station, including factors of orientation and lighting.

 

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Merryl Azriel

Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.