Photographer, filmmaker and writer Michael Benson has culled close-range raw images of solar system bodies from different space probe explorations and processed them as composite images. From original black and white photographs, Benson processes these images to colored prints.
Michael Benson said his works are conjunction of art and science. Apart from the significance of science in his images, he also focuses on the “visual legacy" of the explorations done in the solar system in almost six decades.
“The fact is that in the last six decades we have for the first time in history become aware of other landscapes under the sun," Benson said. “That’s pretty amazing and revelatory. … We belong to a vast suite of solar-powered, sun-orbiting landscapes, some almost surreal, some recognizably like the deserts and ice caps and even lakes of Earth. It’s a kind of kinetic archipelago."
Behind these interstellar works is an intricate and complicated photo editing process. He starts by choosing raw images from thousands of space images that are made available by National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency. Once he picks an interesting subject, he begins editing and overlapping images to form huge space landcapes and processes them from black and white to colored.
His space art was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey." He said his mom took him to see it when he was six years old and it started his fascination with space.
Benson’s works have been exhibited internationally and have been published in three Harry N. Abrams books titled “Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes," “Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle," and the latest “Planetfall: New Solar System Visions."