“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. The immortal words of astronaut Neil Armstrong as he took his historic first step on the surface of the Moon on 21 July 1969 (NZST). It is estimated over 500 million people watched the ghostly images on their television sets as the historic moonwalk took place. To anyone else looking up into the sky at the time, they would have observed a waxing crescent moon following the sun through the northern sky (as seen from New Zealand in any case).
As an avid enthusiast for all things related to spaceflight and astronomy, the Apollo 11 mission has fascinated me for just as long as I can remember. I wanted to complete a special project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event and “Moonshot” is the outcome of that project.
“Moonshot” is offered for purchase as an 8″x10″ print on Ilford’s Gold Fibre Silk paper which offers excellent archival properties for a longer-lasting print. I enjoy printing my own work and this edition is printed in my home studio using Canon’s Lucia Pro pigment-based inks. Prints were completed on 16 July 2019 (the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission!) Each edition is then hand-numbered and signed using archival pigment ink. The print is mounted using high quality archival matboard and acid-free foamcore board. The print is presented in a contemporary black wooden frame with standard glass and is ready to hang. The print can be enjoyed for many years to come provided it is cared for appropriately.
Each print is supplied with a certificate of authenticity, details about the image and care instructions. For those orders requiring shipping, I only use a signature-required courier delivery service. Each frame will be wrapped in recyclable protective materials and comes packed in a large outer shipping carton.
Thank you for visiting my site and I hope you enjoy my “one small step” in tribute to the Apollo 11 Mission.
Prints 1 – 5: $220
Prints 6 – 11: $300
Price includes free delivery within New Zealand.
About the Limited Edition
- Edition of 11
- Two Artist’s Proofs made
- Media: Ilford Gold Fibre Silk paper using Canon Lucia Pro archival pigment-based inks
- Print Date: 16 July 2019, Canterbury, New Zealand
- Image size: 8″ x 10″
- Framed size: 13″ x 15″ (outside dimensions)
- Mount: Crescent Select 9502 White Sale 4-ply matboard and acid-free 5mm foamcore board
- Print is hand-signed and numbered
- Includes hand-signed Certificate of Authenticity
- Information sheet with the story of the image and capture details
Photographic prints of this image will only be available in this limited edition. No further prints of “Moonshot” will be produced now, or in the future. I do reserve the right to use the image for other purposes including, but not limited to: calendars, books, greeting cards, postcards and other items of a similar nature.
The Story behind the Image
As Neil Armstrong took his first step at 14:56 (NZST) on the afternoon of 21 July 1969, the Moon was 6 days into its lunar cycle and 36% of its surface, as viewed from Earth, was illuminated. This is known as the waxing crescent phase. This phase was necessary to ensure the right balance between the harsh sunlight and dark shadowed areas to allow the astronauts to see the lunar surface in sufficient detail to avoid obstacles during the landing phase of the mission. Essentially it was “early morning” in the Sea of Tranquility during the Apollo 11 landing. Fast-forward 50 years, I wanted to make an image that captured the Moon at the same phase so as to imagine what it would have been like to stand outside 50 years ago and gaze up to where the first men now stood on the surface of the Moon.
To give as much authenticity to the project as I could, I wanted to ensure the image was captured in July and in 2019, that same phase occurred on 8 July 2019. Weather forecasts for the Canterbury region where I live were touch and go – although prepared to relocate to achieve clearer skies, much of New Zealand was forecast to have cloud cover and therefore I decided it made little difference if I stayed or travelled. It was going to come down to luck. As the sun set, the sky remained stubbornly covered with cloud and my project looked like it might not be completed. Around two hours after sunset, the cloud started to break apart and glimpses of the Moon could be seen.
I set up my equipment and began to capture images of the Moon in short bursts. The “seeing” or quality of the atmosphere for viewing wasn’t great at first, but I was starting to get images free of cloud at least! As the evening progressed, and the Moon moved lower towards the western horizon, the skies improved markedly and I began capturing many more images.
By the end of the session, I had several hundred frames of the Moon ready to evaluate and process. Having taught myself the techniques required as part of the preparation for this project, I began the process of sorting through the sequences to find the best frames to use for post-processing. A commonly-used technique in processing lunar images involves a process called stacking which assembles a sequence of images into layers, aligns them and then sharpens the output. It’s like taking all the best bits from each frame and compiling them back into a single image. Once complete, this process offers a final result with more clarity and definition than can be achieved in a single exposure through the same equipment. “Moonshot” is a result of 50 frames from that session being used in the stacking process before final post-processing was completed in Adobe Photoshop including conversion into a monochrome image.
I enjoy the photographic process from conception to print and wanted to share the result of my efforts. Therefore “Moonshot” is offered as a limited edition framed photographic print. An edition size of 11 seemed most fitting for the occasion and two Artist Proofs have been completed as well.