NASA and How to Photograph in Space

By Kehl Bayern / February 9, 2018

We have covered some of NASA’s gear on this blog, and boy is it ever the best of the best.

Whether it’s the Hasselblads that took some of the most amazing photos ever, or gear languishing on eBay waiting for a buyer, NASA’s approach to photography has piqued the curiosity and interests of many.

If you’ll notice a theme above it is that we rarely get to hear from the man behind the camera – you know, the guy behind the glass behind the glass inside of a spacesuit.

Interviewer Jared Polin sat down with astronaut Randy Bresnik to discuss just that in order to learn more about the magic of space photography.

One of the biggest challenges faced by photographers in space is getting the image as close as possible to what the human eye perceives while in the void. Like terrestrial photography, astrophotographers need to take into consideration things such as lighting and atmosphere, but on a whole different scale and from an entirely new perspective.

Often key to making these photos work is adding context and Bresnik does this by showing how different things can look from different focal lengths according to DIY Photography’s John Aldred.

The International Space Station uses Nikon cameras and the replacement of the old D4 bodies with the new D5’s is discussed. Mainly, the astrophotographer was thrilled to be able to take shots at night that were previously difficult. Additionally, these photos could be shot handheld in part due to the D5’s high ISO.

One of the advantages of astrophotography, as opposed to photos taken from a satellite, is that astronauts on the ISS can take images from various angles and can transmit them to researchers across the world. Since most global storm systems are fast moving, especially something as large as a hurricane, this unique photographic perspective gives scientists even more data to add to their trove of knowledge when it comes to understanding something as opaque as global weather patterns.

If you’d like to watch the interview in full on YouTube you can do so by clicking here.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is a freelance writer and editor of Demagaga.


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