It includes Buzz Aldrin (2nd man on the moon, shortly after Neil Armstrong), Michael Collins (who orbited the moon while Buzz and Neil walked on the surface), and 6 others who have been to space.
“It’s hard to convey the atmosphere of the event,” Kunze says in an interview. “There’s so much energy. In a way, the small studio I’ve set up has become a victim of its own success. A lot of fascinating people appear in front of my lens, but because of time restraints I don’t really get much interaction with people.”
For this shot, which includes eight of the surviving Apollo astronauts, Kunze created a composite of separately photographed portraits. “People often assume that when I photograph someone like this, that there’s a lengthy process of getting them to be comfortable, but I don’t really approach it that way,” Kunze confesses. “These guys have been photographed over and over and over, and in this case, their individual poses were not as important as the sum of the parts that would make the final photograph. I often say that the best time to take a portrait is in the first two minutes or after a couple of hours. In the first two minutes, my subjects don’t really have a chance to even be uncomfortable! So I depend on that little trick and I just kind of ask them to pose, I ask them to feel a certain way and then I take the photograph.”
The importance of this shot hadn’t dawned on Kunze until afterward, when he realized he had gotten every Apollo astronaut in attendance—including Buzz Aldrin, the man wearing the snazzy space suit, who’s known as the second man to step on the moon after Neil Armstrong. Kunze elected to self-publish this, rather than look for a publication, and the immediacy of it took off; it orbited on the front page of Reddit and was retweeted by NASA to over 30 million followers.
(Shot with an Elinchrom Litemotiv Octabox, Elinchrom Deep Dish Rotalux Octabox, Elinchrom shallow Octabox and a small Chimera softbox, powered by three ELB-500 battery packs and an ELB-1200. Arranged in front of three Oliphant Studio Backdrops, as per Kunze’s video on lighting groups in The Lighting Series.)
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