- Mike Lowe
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The bigger picture, through the world's most expensive lens
Well, perhaps the most expensive one that's, technically speaking, ‘out of this world' - of course, I'm talking about The Hubble Space Telescope (which lands in at a staggering $3 billion). Certainly not something for the everyday man, but a recent announcement from Nikon that NASA has purchased 11 Nikon D3s bodies for use in NASA's ongoing space-exploration documentation got me thinking about the bigger picture and photography's place within that.
It was then that I stumbled across this staggering image of the Carina Nebula, 5500 BC - a NASA image assembled of 48 different images taken from The Hubble - that the importance of photography really hit home. Well, that, plus the fact that what we're seeing is some 7510 years old and the file size is 480MB.
Although it's not clear what equipment was used to record this image, that's almost beside the point. This is one of those awe-inspiring images that, and this may sound obvious, highlights the importance of photography to carry not only the image, but ideas too. That something so epic and unknown can be presented in an almost-tangible visual format is equally as staggering as the image's content, as is the amount of thought and discussion around what it brings to the table. There's so much at play that I can barely think where to begin, and as much as some days I wish I had the brain of an astronomer or scientist to understand exactly what I'm looking at, other days I'm thankful that I don't. Sometimes it's a privilege to simply gaze at the aesthetic beauty of it all and lose oneself in a glorious world of ponderment.
Keep at it NASA, I think I can now add you to my list of ‘favourite photographers'. And may the kit get better and better so we can see these things in greater clarity than ever before.