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Label: nasa

Wednesday 11th February 2015Selfies - From Space!

While it's with heavy fingers that we type the world 'selfie' at all, it's hard to get away from it in the world of photography at the moment. In this one case, however, it's with pleasure rather than trepidation that we type the word, as it also happens to involve astronauts and outer space. If you happen to have a few spare quid lying around, you might just be able to pick yourself up a piece of space photography history in the next few weeks, as a number of photographs from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration archives are going up on the auction block.

Depending on whom you ask, the star of the lot might be the first space selfie, taken by the late Col. Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin in 1966 with the curve of the Earth just visible in the background, or it might be the 1972 photograph taken by Eugene Cernan of Harrison Schmitt and the American flag planted on the lunar surface, with the Earth in the background. The Cernan photograph has been called "one of the great photos to come out of the space program," but it's hard to deny the buzz behind the Aldrin picture (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves).

The auction takes place on February 26th in London, courtesy of Bloomsbury Auctions, and the collection is visible in Mallet Antiques as an exhibit entitled 'From the Earth to the Moon'. As Sarah Wheeler, who is Head of Photographs at the auction house, put it, "These photographs are more than merely documentary, many are simply sublime. They represent a golden age in the history of photography as well, when a few men went to the unknown to bring back awe-inspiring pictures. The view of the first Earthrise over the lunar horizon changed Man's relationship with the cosmos forever."

The prices aren't particularly astronomical, perhaps surprisingly, considering that Wheeler is correct in noting their impressive historical value. The estimated sale prices for the photos range from £300 to £10,000, which is still a pretty penny, but can you really put a price on the first photos of our own planet? Nothing would beat being able to casually mention, as your friend whips out their selfie stick, that you happen to have the first selfie from space. 

Posted on February 11th 2015 on 10:56pm
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