UAE: Image restoration expert brings to life never-before-seen images of Neil Armstrong on Moon, other space journeys

Andy Saunders' presentation on the inaugural day of Xposure International Photography Festival in Sharjah showcases new perspectives on space missions

By Web Desk

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Fri 10 Feb 2023, 6:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:27 PM

Photography and image restoration expert, Andy Saunders, took the audience on a journey through time and space with his presentation on the inaugural day of the seven-day Xposure International Photography Festival (Xposure 2023), held in Sharjah on Thursday, February 9.

The presentation featured the highest-quality images of the Apollo missions ever produced and the star-studded crews behind the voyages.

Drawing from the original Nasa photographic film, stored in a frozen vault in Houston, Texas, Saunders revealed a new perspective on humankind's greatest adventure. For over 50 years, the public has been limited to lower-quality copies of these historic images. However, Saunders applied his expertise and cutting-edge enhancement techniques to carefully restore and scan the original film, uncovering incredible detail that has been lost for decades.

Saunders's passion for preserving the history of the space missions stems from his awe of the pioneering spirit of the “go-getting” era, which made these missions possible. The first walk on the moon was a pivotal moment in human history, and Saunders is proud to present these photographs in a new light.

In his presentation, Saunders explained how he utilised 16mm “movie” footage to bring to light images that have never been seen by the public, including photos of Neil Armstrong and his momentous achievements. With 400 photos in his book and 35 in the exhibition, Saunders has selected only the best of the 35,000 photos from various sources.

Saunders worked diligently to get the colour accurate and true, covering many space missions, including the pre-Apollo missions of Gemini 4, 5, and 9A, as well as the Apollo missions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and Apollo 17 which was the final lunar mission. His remastered images to provide a new insight into the moon, capturing not only timeless feats but also some emotional and human moments rarely seen in the highly trained and dedicated astronauts.

Commercial Hasselblad cameras were adapted for use in space, and Neil Armstrong had the idea to attach a camera to their chestplate. Saunders's goal was to produce an authentic record of humankind's historic achievements and sought the opinions and reviews of the astronauts to ensure his images were as close as possible to their actual experience.


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