Moon project: First images

After months and months of work I’m finally printing the images to my Moon project. I started working on this is a focused way a year ago, downloading terabytes of data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a satellite orbiting over the lunar surface. The LRO sends back high resolution photographs of the Moon’s surface–maybe not high enough to see you wave at the camera if you were standing there but it would pick out the rover you drove up in.

A few thousand images were downloaded–large, thin images in an obscure image format. These were then culled to about three hundred final candidates and then the pairs of images–the LRO shoots two side-by-side images–were stitched together manually. I cropped these and printed a small work print from each so that I could “live with” the prints for a while. Always a good idea to see if an image holds yours interest over time. Further editing–increasingly difficult as the pool of candidate images shrank–brought the total number of images to fifty. These are the ones that will be printed, though I expect about ten more to be rejected during this phase.

A long process and suddenly it is almost over.

I started printing yesterday morning at 7:30 in the morning and by 1:30 that night I had a good print from the first seven files. Having all that time to see and think about the images before opening Photoshop is a tremendous benefit when you finally sit down at the computer. You know what you want by then and can get to it quickly. At least as quickly as giant files on a old Macintosh let’s you go.