Nine years in the making. Over 200 images of NASA's most iconic objects, as you’ve never seen them before. One man’s lifetime obsession with space exploration and the achievements of NASA.
This is 'NASA - Past and Present Dreams of the Future', a new book to accompany the educational, experiential exhibition from photographer Benedict Redgrove, launching on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
With unprecedented access to NASA’s spacecraft, labs and facilities Redgrove has created a unique and powerful tribute to the pioneers of space exploration.
"...it is some of the most incredible imagery you'll ever find of the NASA space program. "
“Benedict has created something that will forever be referred back to when people look at the history of space exploration.”
SIMON PHILLIPSON - AUTHOR OF APOLLO VII - XVII
“Benedict’s NASA images are some of the most awe inspiring, finely produced images I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The file quality, the lighting and attention to detail is second to none. You can feel his deep passion for NASA and Space come through in every shot - a true labour of love.”
ANDREW DIPROSE - CREATIVE DIRECTOR WIRED (UK)
“The culmination of nine years documenting the many aspects of the US space programme, Benedict Redgrove’s NASA project is shot in his distinctive style, with an almost scientific rigour that befits the subject matter. This body of work gives a fascinating insight into Man’s quest for the stars that will appeal to both space enthusiasts and a wider audience beyond.”
ANDY GREENACRE - THE TELEGRAPH
“This unique and stunning collection of images beautifully produced by Benedict is an excellent and insightful look at a fascinating subject.”
HENNY MANLEY - ESQUIRE MAGAZINE
“Space, the Final Frontier...Benedict’s NASA images will inspire you to believe that humanity is truly capable of anything. NASA - Past and present dreams of the future” with it’s beautifully crafted photography, you can see the photographers deep respect and love for Space exploration in every image.”
THOMAS PAYNE - POPULAR SCIENCE (USA)
For Redgrove, it’s about showing the emotional impact of these objects. “I wanted to explore the reaction we have to these machines and objects when we see them in fine detail,” he says, “and what they mean to us as human beings.”
“The image of the astronaut, or spaceman has been with me ever since I was child, as a sort of talisman to all that is great and good. They symbolise the explorer, the hero, the good character, the leader. The spacesuit takes on that character. The suit and the human become one entity, more powerful than either on their own. It’s now a symbol in its own right, and it has become greater than the sum of its parts. It has reached an iconic stature that few objects can match. These objects have come to signify the pinnacle of human achievements.”
Redgrove spent five years negotiating and trust-building with NASA followed by four years of photography and production while holding down his day job.
It paid off, and he gained access to some of NASA’s most restricted areas and facilities allowing him to photograph objects rarely seem by the outside world. He went inside the Lunar Samples Lab to photograph the priceless moon rock collected on the Apollo missions, watched the sun set behind the International Space Station from the mission control room and entered the assembly rooms where the next generation of spacecraft are being built.
But it was his encounter with Atlantis, the last shuttle to fly, that left him feeling the full power of these objects. “I watched the launch of the first shuttle mission in 1981, when I was 11, and that started my obsession with space and NASA. Seeing Atlantis was like meeting your childhood hero, but better. I felt like I was having a religious experience.”
The result is a collection of intimate, finely-detailed images that allow that objects to tell their own story. Shot using digital backs on technical cameras, some images are made up from over 60 exposures to capture incredible detail. The images are then painstakingly retouched to remove them from their backgrounds, allowing them to be viewed without distraction.
I know your first memories are subjective, but as far as I can recollect, my earliest memory is being in a pram, in a dark room with the curtains pulled closed and seeing a grainy black and white picture of man walking on the moon. I was born in May 1969, so I share my years with the Apollo Lunar landings. Maybe this is why I have been so interested in all things space and space travel all of my life.
From watching the shuttle missions and thinking how fantastic that must be to launch into the huge skies above, to hearing about skylab and imagining all that they were doing up there, and being worried when things went wrong.
Space was the great adventure, it was the escape and it was the reality, it was all the sci-fi films I watched, but for real. They were magical, exciting and wondrous times for me. It was history before my eyes and I wanted to hold onto those moments. The craft they were in, the suits they wore meant so much to me. They were more than objects, they represented the future, all that was good and exciting with the world.
I have spent the last nine years organising and producing and five years shooting the objects and sites that represent not only my childhood, but all that is good with humanity. Exploration, the thirst for knowledge and the betterment of man kind through those qualities.
My dreams of going into space are now relegated to acceptance of staying on this beautiful planet of ours, but the objects still hold a magical and transformative power for me. It is this energy that I wish to convey. The excitement and wonder of all of these objects is something I hope to transfer.
I have been to various NASA sites and shot tests and specimens and displayed objects through the help of so many NASA officials from mission controllers, technicians and engineers, project leaders, space suits labs, the space station controller, the Orion facility, the Boeing Starliner facility, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the incredible educational facilities that the amazing people at Space Centre Houston are creating, the launch pads, the assembly building, the neutral buoyancy labs, the robotics lab, the historical records, human space travel, Aerojet Rocketdyne systems, the hallowed vaults of the lunar vault. Inside the ISS mock up trainer, the cockpit of the shuttle trainer, held original training gloves of Gene Cernan, Dave Scott, Al Bean, the stamps that marked all of Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Gener Cernan's items, the cameras that the Apollo astronauts trained with on earth, stood in the "jet pack" MMU 1 that Bruce McCandless helped develop before he took number 2 into space and floated unattached to anyone or anything, the farthest person from earth at the time, looking like the loneliest a man could be, and probably the most exciting a fun and exhilarated too.
This has been a huge part of my life for nine years and now I am able to share it fully with you.
The images have been retouched.
The book has been designed and laid out.
The costs have been worked out.
Now it's your chance to be part of this enormous project and help bring it to life. With your support we can get this made, something you can proudly say, "I helped make that happen".
11x14 REWARDS PRINTS
For your convenience I have listed the images that will be available for the rewards with 11x14 prints. These prints are not interchangeable and have been arranged like this so we can be accurate with our costs and timings on delivery.
The first print tier has two 11x14 images, these are numbers 1 and 2
The second print tier has five 11x14 images, these are number 1-5
The third print tier has ten 11x14 images in it and unsurprisingly that includes all the images
WHY KICKSTARTER AND NOT A PUBLISHER
I had been offered a much easier route with a publisher, but I felt that after nine years of work, I wanted the project to conclude in way that felt honest to me. Involving another party that might want to do things their way didnt feel correct, but Kickstarter really does offer that chance.
It connects me with you, the people who are not just buying a book, but more importantly backing and supporting the project. Its a much closer connection than any publisher could offer and I am honoured to have your support and personal involvement, it really means much more to me this way. Your support and connection with the book gives this project more life and spreads it throughout the community through your enthusiasm and shared love of what we are doing together.
BEHIND THE SCENES
THE BOOK DETAILS
The book is 295mm (11.6inches) x 375mm (14.7inches), over 350 pages with over 200 images and weighs around 5kg (10lbs). It is printed on 200gsm GF Smith Heaven 42 with a heavy bound cover with a subtle and tasteful debossed title.
The project costs are broken down into print production, book production, binding, deboss, materials, design, web site, fulfilment, delivery, shipping boxes, prints, letters, stickers, kickstarter fees.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND PROJECT SITES
THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE PROJECT AND SUPPORTING IT
Risks and challenges
I have 20 years experience working on global advertising campaigns, both in print and film. I am used to producing work to deadlines and to the highest possible quality for internationals clients. I have made advertising campaigns both in print and on TV and online. My clients include, Audi, BMW, British Airways, IBM, HP, Virgin, Lexus, Toyota, VW, and publications such as WIRED, Wallpaper, Esquire, GQ, The Telegraph to mentions a few.
The book has been designed, with just a few of the technical pages awaiting copy. My retouchers are some of the best in the world as are the books printers.
The only issue that would possibly be a problem will be in proofing stage where due to the nature of the images, we may need to adjust some fo the images to make sure they are as clean and detailed as possible without whites looking dirty.
This will be the highest quality book, produced and designed by the best teams and will be delivered to you in secure custom made packaging and on time. We have estimated the production schedule backwards from the time of delivery and have built in over a month of time as a safety margins for any unforeseen issues (meteorite strikes and end of planet events have not been factored in)
- (30 days)