There are a huge number of books out there covering space exploration, but in my opinion, very few that manage to combine definitive coverage with an exciting read. So, here is my shortlist for books you should read if you want to enjoy finding out more about the history of manned space exploration.
I’ve included Amazon links, (I get nothing from these). Continue reading “History of Manned Spaceflight, The Essential Books.”
I have been growing more and more frustrated with my current image editor, Photoshop Elements. Not least because of it’s incessant update demands – and I have yet to notice a single benefit, despite the exclamation marks on every announcement.
I built my first web site with Serif WebPlus, and was interested when I heard they were going to try and take on the full fat Photoshop, and no nasty support rental charges.
Well, it was on offer, and I have a Christmas break coming up, (with a chance to spend time learning it), so the timing seemed good. Incidentally, apart from taking them up on the £10 off deal, open to everyone, no money changed hands for this review.
I’m also aware that other members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists are more than a bit resentul of the rental approach too…
Continue reading “Affinity Photo – first impressions review”
Today I received my copy of Ron Miller’s new book, Spaceships! And I provided quite a few images for it.
Continue reading ““Spaceships” by Ron Miller. (And me!)”
Here’s a selection of photos from the “Cosmonauts” exhibition at the London Science Museum.
This shows the arrangement used for for the ‘space dog’ Laika. Laika (meaning “little woofer”), was a stray found on the streets of Moscow. The scientists later said that what they learned was not worth the life of a dog.
On the left is the suit proposed for exploring Mars, and on the right the “Orlan” EVA space suit. Continue reading “Cosmonauts exhibition at the London Science Museum”
Today I received my pre-ordered copy of The 2001 File, the Harry Lange design archive. This is a review of it.
Initial impressions are good, the book is heavy, with lots of pages. I was a bit surprised at the lack of a slip cover though.
But the meat of it is, of course, the illustrations. It is VERY heavily illustrated, and the vast majority of the pictures are new to me. The pictures main focus on the design history of all the major elements in the film, with many, many alternate designs that never made it into the finished film.
In many cases there are quite literally dozens and dozens of alternate designs, and it it genuinely fascinating to see how some fairly crude early attempts evolved into the iconic finished versions.
The illustrations are mainly line drawings or plans – there are some colour photographs, but these are not at all well presented, being more than a bit blurry in most cases.
The plans and diagrams make this an essential purchase for someone like me, and astronomical artist. I;m less show about the value to a more general audience, but if you love the design of the film, you will likely find it very satisfying.
I’ve not yet had a chance to read the text properly, but I did notice one mistake – an Ion Spaceship design by Erst Stuhlinger is described as a “Cruciform Space Station”. But speaking for myself, I am very happy to have it, and I am already twitching to turn some of the deigns into fully realised CGI!