Fifty five years ago Today, the First Photographer went to Space

We are used to seeing photographs of Space on our social media feeds. Popularised this decade by Chris Hadfield and emulated by many more it’s hard to conceive a time existed before astronomer photography. So who was the first photographer in Space?

It was this man, Gherman Titov of Russia:

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Gherman Titov practising on Earth with a Konvas movie camera. (Photo: FotoSoyuz)

Titov was aboard Vostok 2 when it took off to journey beyond our atmosphere and make 17 orbits of Earth on the 6th August 1961. The mission, Continue reading

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LEE Filters Unveils new KP9 Aurora Filter

The explosion in popularity of digital SLR cameras with low noise capability has brought forth the Aurora Borealis revolution. It appears that some camera accesory manufacturer are also tapping in to that market

In the early morning hours, LEE filters surprised photographers with the announcement of a brand new product to their range, the KP9 Aurora glass filter.

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Photograph by astrophotography expert Mike Bolan

We had the opportunity to speak to Mike Bolan, Continue reading

This is why Observatories are built on top of Mountains

It’s probably safe to assume that most of us understand that Space observatories are built at high altitudes where viewing conditions are better because the atmosphere is less dense. Sharp-witted photographer Rob Ratkowski created this clever visual aid to show how altitude makes huge differences to imaging the skies.

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Science explainers like Ratkowski often have to find unique ways to demonstrate certain scientific reasoning. Using photography and just his index finger Continue reading

Heineken’s Selfie from Space was an Elaborate Lie.

It was billed by Heineken as the first ever selfie from Space. An elaborate stunt in which an orbiting satellite would focus in on a gathering of people and snap a picture from 400 miles above the Earth. Something didn’t quite add up though. Phogotraphy investigates.

#Spyfie or more #Liefie?

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The “record breaking photo” was taken as part of Heineken’s collaboration with the James Bond franchise in order to promote their latest film Spectre. Dubbed #Spyfie by marketing bods, Continue reading

A Martian Forest?

The unfaltering juggernaut of daily Space photographs APOD shared a remarkable image of Mars last night.

Yes, Mars.

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Don’t get too excited though, despite their appearance those blackened tree like structures cresting on the rolling hills are just an illusion of perspective. The photograph Continue reading

Watch an Endearing Photo Shoot take Place on the Moon

One of the main jobs the Apollo astronauts were given was to be photographers. Apart from scientists, pilots and straight up adventurers these men had to learn how to use a camera in Space. The reason being to give a visual exploration of the barren, dusty Lunar surface for the humble Earthlings back home.

Despite having live video feed transmitted back to Houston and broadcast all over the world, the quality was substandard. NASA relied on some specially manufactured Hasselblad film cameras to provide clean, crisp and high resolution photographs to study at a later date. What we’ve rediscovered is some old archive footage of a photo shoot on the Moon taking place.

It is a wonderful moment to watch!

The decent commentary starts at 1:45 during the clip. We’ve transcribed the best bits Continue reading

At 46 Billion Pixels, this is the Largest Astronomical Image to Date

Astronomers at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB) have incredibly busy these last five years photographing the sky night after night in order to search for objects with variable brightness and in doing so they have compiled this amazing 46 billion pixel photo of the Milky Way making it the largest astronomical image of all time:

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Milky Way viewed at 5 kpx

The Milky Way is so large the astronomers had to subdivide it into 268 sections, photographing each Continue reading

Instant, Unrestricted Access to Current Photos of Earth from 1 Million Miles Away.

Do not underestimate how important this resource is.

Only 24 humans have seen the entirety of Earth from Space with their own eyes and that’s not changing any time soon. However thanks to a joint effort by NASA, NOAA and USAF we are a step closer to having unrestricted access to instant and current imagery of our blue marble via a brand new website.

Once a day, every day from here on NASA will upload a minimum of a dozen images as taken by a camera called EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera) with complete access revealing the entire globe.
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Safely in orbit a million miles out at the L1 Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun, Continue reading

Easy 10 Step Guide on how to Recreate this Stunning Photo!

Have you seen this wonderful photograph circling various social media in the last 24 hours? It’s a picture of dwarf planet Pluto transiting the face of the Sun, revealing a beautiful hazy blue atmosphere. The minimalist, dark frame has been a hit with scientists, observers and artists alike, not just for the implications this atmosphere may hold for the former planet, but for its eerie, perfect beauty.

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At the Phogotraphy office we pondered on how easy it would be for us to take this image ourselves. What type of rig we’d need, how much forward planning and at what expense? Turns out, it’s pretty simple actually. So ever the givers we’ve decided, exclusively, to share this easy 10-step-how-to-guide on photographing the atmosphere of Pluto. Continue reading

Stunning or Failures? We Chose 30 Imperfect Photographs from the Apollo Archive.

When NASA went to the Moon, digital cameras didn’t exist and therefore exposures of the Lunar landscape had to be caught on film. Recently a team tasked with the preservation of the Apollo mission films uploaded the entire collection of images to Flickr. Among the 2400+ images are a surprisingly large amount of failed frames consisting of light leaks, over exposures, sticky labels and motion blur. Despite being redundancies, they carry with them an abstract beauty and a feeling of realness. NASA didn’t send photographers to the Moon, they sent astronauts and the vernacular feel to the plethora of pictures they brought back works as a surprising twist to a journey that is drifting further into our past.

Phogotraphy spent some time picking through the archive and choosing the thirty best ‘Imperfect Apollo’ frames we could find to share with you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

21036777064_ad2ff91e98_k Continue reading