London-born graphic designer and photographer Benedict Redgrove has shared his series of intriguing images from his self-published book NASA: Past and Present Dreams of the Future. A unique tribute to the pioneers of space exploration, the project is a captivating insight into NASA’s facilities and most iconic space objects.
Redgrove has been fascinated by space suits and shuttles since he was a young man. “The image of the astronaut or spaceman has been with me ever since, as a sort of talisman to all that is great and good,” he shares. “They symbolize 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.” Combining his fascination with space technology with his interest in photography, the British creative took on the challenge to document America’s home of space-based research and development in intimate detail. Redgrove spent almost a decade working on the project, negotiating access and forming relationships with NASA, researching, investigating, and producing over 200 images of NASA’s facilities and the many objects that made their space travel imaginable and possible.
Shot in extremely high resolution with some of the most advanced camera gear, the finely-detailed images take us on an exclusive tour of NASA’s spacecrafts and labs, showcasing large machines, vehicles, astronauts’ suits, and smaller objects used during past space missions. Presented in solitude, these are shot against a white backdrop or heavily processed with Photoshop so as to remove any background, allowing them to be viewed without distraction. “I wanted to explore the reaction we have to these machines and objects when we see them in fine detail, and what they mean to us as human beings,” explains Redgrove to IGNANT. Extremely conscious of framing and composition, the photographer blends visual pleasure with excitement seamlessly, ultimately flirting with the human intrigue for the unknown.