Podcast: How Do You Take Great Photos From Space?
by Ryan Schleeter
June 28, 2016
Check out episode 21 of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptional — satisfying your curiosity doesn’t have to be one of them.
Jonathan Mehring is the photographer behind the National Geographic book “Skate the World,” which took him around the globe to photograph skateboarders and skating culture in dozens of countries. But even after all these travels there’s still one place he hasn’t been to: outer space.
As a space enthusiast and professional photographer, he wants to know how astronauts navigate zero gravity and the Earth’s orbit to take amazing photos like this one.
So we talked to someone who knows a whole lot about space photography: astronaut Don Pettit. Across his various missions, Don’s spent more than a year in space — mostly on the International Space Station — and taken thousands of photographs.
In fact, on his last mission, he the other five members of the crew took half a million photos, more than astronauts had captured in the previous 12 years.
As Don explains, even the simplest photography tasks become a lot more complicated in space — from the narrow design of the International Space Station, to facial recognition technology in zero gravity, to adjusting light exposure when trying to photograph Earth against the dark backdrop of space.
So how did Don get around these hurdles to take stunning photos like the ones above? Listen in for his pro-tips (many of which are probably good advice for Earth-bound photographers, too) here:
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