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THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT

The never-ending inspiration of the space photography

There’s hardly anything more significant, majestic and exciting than the photos of the Universe surrounding us. From the close corners of the Milky Way to the mysterious depths of far-away galaxies, still forming as the consequences of the Biggest Bang know to man, everything in space is grand on the scale and beyond what our minds could possibly grasp. Looking at stars dissolving or being in the process of birth, conscious of the fact that these events might have taken place already 10’000 years ago, is a beautifully frightening prospect!

We’ll take a look at some fascinating aspects about the space photography and how you could actually recreate them in home conditions!

The Eye Candy from the Hubble

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The old guy has been up there since 1990, but ultimately will soon be replaced by the technically far-more-superior appliance, namely - James Webb Space Telescope. In a sense, it’s sad retirement of an engineering brilliance that gave us some of the most iconic of the space photography. On the other hand, its successor will most likely provide us with a visual material that could potentially change our perception of the Universe as we know it. Meanwhile, Hubble Space Telescope is still operative and still giving us visual marvels to behold! The little snippet into this NASA-made “gadget” was necessary for the fact that most of the space photography following is a direct result of its capabilities! After all, it’s one of the main reason for us to buy those inexpensive home versions for our personal galactical observations!

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image source: www.nasa.gov

During the summer of 2011, the Hubble Telescope celebrated its millionth observation with 4000 others pending till today! Thus far, it has gone through numerous upgrading missions and, according to its maintenance team, has experienced a blockbuster movie worth of space-debris storms, inconceivable levels of radiation and a lot electromagnetic tantrums from the sun. Exceptional durability!

The Definition of “Awe”

pillars-of-creation

image source: www.wikipedia.com

In 1995, two future astronomers of the Arizona State University, Jeff Hester, and Paul Scowen captured something that defies the meaning of the word “epic”. With the help of the aforementioned Hubble Space Telescope, they managed to take photos of the elephant trunks of interstellar gas. The gas and dust that these trunks were compiled of were in the process of creating new stars, a fact that served as the basis for the name of the photography. “Pillars of Creation” remains one of the most famous photos, taken via the use of the Hubble Space Telescope and rightfully so. It is a sight that makes you realize the scale of interstellar processes, and might actually leave your mouth wide open. A sight that’s definitely worth having on your wall, for the sheer fact of its inspirational nature!

The Dark Horse

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image source: www.jpl.nasa.gov

This is by no means a reference to the Katy Perry’s song. It is, in fact, a reference to one of the most intimidating and majestic space photographs ever taken, namely - the Horsehead Nebula. To put it simply, it’s a stunning piece of space photography. The horse head delineation is obvious, therefore - the peculiar name of the formation that’s 1500 light years away from us. Though, it was first visible in an Alnatik (star system) photograph made by William Henry Pickering in 1888 (pretty amazing, isn’t it?), its popularity skyrocketed only in 2001 when NASA polled internet users to find out which object they want Hubble to investigate the most. It’s a colossus of an unimaginable scale. Something that every respectable space enthusiast would like to own as a personal favorite. For the best effect, this particular image should be printed on an acrylic foundation because of the increased sense of depth and the magnificent detail!

As Deep as We Can Get

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image source: www.en.wikipedia.com

Another image that makes us realize just how insignificant we are in comparison to what’s out there and one that you might have already seen. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is a “classic” space photography that depicts seemingly limitless Universe, full of immense galaxies that we might explore some day. Yet sadly, even at our technologically super-advanced state, we still don’t have the capacity to do that. Even the aforementioned James Webb Space Telescope does not guarantee a revelation about the phenomenal picture though it may help us to understand some of the larger objects visible in the image. Meanwhile, it’s safe to say that this would be a great substitute for an image of sheep pasture. By this strange comparison, we mean that this picture could be a great thing to look at before you fall to sleep. Just print it as a huge (80x60cm) canvas wall art, attach it to your ceiling above the bed, and start counting stars!

Don’t Have a Telescope? You Can Still Have Your Own Mini-Cosmos!

Yeap, you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a technically superb telescope (although, you are certainly free to do so) to witness the sensation of cosmos. We’re almost sure you have heard something about the film called “The Tree of Life” by the legendary director Terrence Malick. In case you’re not, we really recommend to check it out! Although the film is great by itself, one of the more interesting of its aspects is the way the team behind the film created scenes depicting our universe. We can say right away that no CGI was involved!

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image source: http://1080plus.com

Building Universe in Your Garage

The famed special effects supervisor Douglass Trumbull had been away from the Hollywood scene for almost 30 years at that point (the year 2011). When invited to create effects for the aforementioned motion picture, Trumbull decided to do it the good old way, that is, the “2001: A Space Odyssey” way. Instead of making CGI frenzy, Trumbull brought in:



Then he used careful lighting and high-speed photography to turn these ingredients into epic scenes of space processes. At one point, Trumbull and Malick actually poured milk through a funnel into a narrow trough and filmed it with a high-speed camera and a folded lens. With the help of a careful lighting and the right frame rate, they achieved the effect of cosmos phenomena in action. To make it short, most effects were fluid-based, something that you could easily try to replicate in your home during holidays with the ingredients listed above! You could use the results to fool friends into thinking that you’ve actually managed to take a photography of space and your experiments could actually be made into photo gifts for your loved ones! Even if you don’t manage to achieve the “spacey” effect, photos would most likely look awesome and solid enough to adorn somebody’s mug or photo mouse pad! In case you actually manage to recreate a galaxy-like imagery, we can only recommend to turn it into a majestic piece of wall art!

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image source: http://cineffectpodcast.blogspot.com/

For inspiration, we suggest the original motion picture soundtrack of the “Interstellar”, composed by Hans Zimmer. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

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