Moon Shot


Buzz Aldrin on the moon (photo by Neil Armstrong)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. This was one of my favorite photographs when I was growing up. I think what drew me to it was the clarity and detail of it. You can see the footprints in the background. Cameras have come a long way since then, but it’s still amazing to me to see that we were able to take such great photos back then.

Medium format camera are larger than 35mm cameras and use paper-backed or paper-leadered roll film. The most popular medium-format cameras produce negatives that are 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 inches, 6 X 7 cm, and 6 X 4.5 cm. The large negatives make stunningly sharp enlargements, full of detail. The 2 1/4 inch single-lens reflex (SLR) camera has a viewing system similar to the 35mm SLR reflex camera. As the name implies, these larger SLRs produce negatives that are 2 1/4 inches square. The Hasselblad was the the camera used by America’s astronauts when they visited the moon. 

The Hasselblad wasn’t the first camera to reach the moon; that honor goes to the one Neil Armstrong took one with him on the 1969 mission. But it’s the only one to ever make it back. The rest were left behind due to their bulk and weight; the one below, which was used on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, was lucky enough to make the return journey.



First Photographs


This is the first photo ever produced of a person (lower left) by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1839 on a daguerreotype – a silver-plated sheet of copper. He did this with a wood box with a lens on one end that produces an image onto a frosted sheet of glass on the other end. He revealed this process and some of his images publicly on August 19, 1839 (my Birthday!). Most of his photos were of still-life subjects, but this long exposure photo captured a person near a road in Paris. It appears he is getting his shoe shined. Below is the first ever photograph produced that is in existence today. It was made by Nicéphore Niépce in 1827 and is called Point de vue du Gras (View from the Window at Le Gras).

Point de vue du Gras

Point de vue du Gras



Close up of the original plate

Michael Doven

I like to showcase different photographers I learn about. Michael Doven is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography and his photos are used in some of the lessons that are provided. He is currently a world renowned photographer and his work includes many films in Hollywood. Here are a couple videos showcasing his work.

New York Institute of Photography



* – from NYIP

 Three Basic Guidelines for Great Photographs

1. A good photograph has a clear subject

Every photograph is about someone or something. It may even tell a story about the subject. Whoever looks at the photo immediately sees this subject. It is clear and unambiguous. We sometimes call the subject a theme.

2. A good photograph focuses attention on the subject

The viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to the subject.

3. A good photograph simplifies

The photograph includes only those elements that draw the eye to the subject, and it excludes or diminishes those elements that might draw the eye away from the subject.