The Apollo space program to “land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth” started as President Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to Americans, but it became one of the greatest achievements in human culture. The Apollo program required extraordinary leadership, courage, and expense. It also required the imagination of dreamers. Though born from the adversarial political climate of the Cold War, Apollo grew from the wonder and majesty of the human quest to visit other worlds. In these photographs, which encircle the Rose Center, artist and landscape photographer Michael Light has captured this majesty with his selection and digital processing of film masters from the NASA photographic archive.
Artist Michael Light's extraordinary odyssey, which has become FULL MOON, began in 1995, when he first visited the NASA photographic archive in Houston, Texas. As a landscape photographer, he had an idea that there was more to the visual side of Apollo than the ten or so images the world now knows by heart, and that much of the story of the Moon and our human journeys to it might still be untold. The more than 32,000 scientific exploration photographs made by the astronauts during eleven Apollo missions proved his idea right.
Using digital imaging techniques, Light was able to preserve the original clarity of the master black and white negatives and color transparencies he selected. He also took care to let the information on the film guide him in making esthetic decisions to achieve prints of exhibition quality. The results are the most immediate images of space exploration the public has ever seen.
His odyssey complete, Michael Light concludes that the universal tale told by FULL MOON is as much about the alien wonders of our nearest neighbor in space as the triumph of a brilliantly resourceful species on Earth. The Apollo photographs allow us all to be astronauts.