Astronaut Don Pettit Demystifies the Art of Taking Photographs in Space

Over the years, we’ve shown you Don Pettit’s work — his many timelapse videos taken from the International Space Station. (Find some below.) By now, we take these videos almost for granted. We watch the breathtaking scenery flow by, and we shrug our shoulders a bit. Rarely do we step back and think: holy mackerel, this cat is taking artful videos in space. Nor do we wonder: how does one take pictures in zero gravity anyhow?

It’s fascinating when you think about it. And, now Don Pettit gives you a glimpse inside his creative process. Speaking at the Luminance 2012 conference in New York City, Pettit explains the challenges of photographing on the ISS — the equipment required, the quick decisions you need to make, the obstacles that get in the way, the aesthetic choices you need to consider, etc. And then he gets into some intriguing questions. Like how do you capture the colors of the aurora borealis? or what fabulous photographs can infrared photography yield?

His talk runs 30 minutes, and it will interest the casual observer or the all-out photography geek.

Don Pettit Videos from the ISS:

Animated Aurora Borealis from Orbit

Great Cities at Night: Views from the International Space Station

What It Feels Like to Fly Over Planet Earth

Star Gazing from the International Space Station (and Free Astronomy Courses Online)

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