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Full Moon (original 1999; edition 2002)
Full Moon by Michael Light (1999)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375406344, Hardcover)In Full Moon, one of the best science photography books ever published, Michael Light presents a voyage in images to the Moon and back. Light took NASA's master negatives of photos taken by Apollo astronauts and scanned them electronically. The resulting pictures are so vivid they seem more clear than real life. Light orders the photos sequentially, selecting the most arresting images from each mission, to create a truly cinematic experience. In the first section, depicting blastoff, you can almost feel the violent shaking of the rocket as it strains to escape Earth's gravity. Then you see the quiet stillness of weightlessness, the astronauts' view down at a perfectly silent Earth, boundless oceans contrasting with bright white clouds. A spacewalk adds vertigo--the astronaut looks fragile and very alone as he floats outside his capsule far above his home planet. Then comes the waiting, as the long voyage toward the Moon continues.
As you watch the cratered surface get closer and closer, you have no sense of scale until you see the miniscule silver and gold lander dropping gently to land on the Moon. Leaving the cluttered interior of the capsule in bulky, awkward suits, the astronauts bring delicate tracings of color--gold on the lander; red, white, and blue on the spacesuits' flag patches--to this black-and-white world. Five huge gatefolds in this section give you indescribable views of the intricately scarred surface of the Moon.
You return to space for the reuniting of the lander and capsule, and a repetition of the tedious journey back home. Finally, you watch a chaotic splashdown in the riot of colors that is Earth.
A nice section in the back of the book explains each photo with a detailed caption, and an essay by author Andrew Chaikin (A Man on the Moon) adds more written context to this stunning visual experience. The book is printed on very high-quality paper, with matte black frames for the photos and a gorgeous, wordless cover. Every space fan should have a copy. --Therese Littleton
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:30 -0400)
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