Monday, July 22, 2019

The Sunday Still: Moon Shot

Photojournalist Patrick Farrell has joined the blog with his weekly feature, The Sunday Still. Farrell selects one image each week that showcases the best photojournalism by photojournalists from around the world. The feature runs weekly in The Sunday Long Read. The goal of the newsletter, edited by Don Van Natta Jr. and Jacob Feldman, is to put the week’s best journalism in your hands every Sunday morning.

The Sunday Still
from Patrick Farrell

Moon Shot 

You think getting a man on the moon was hard? Try shooting a photo at night that conveys the wonder of a 50-year-old historic event projected onto the side of a rocket-sized national monument. Washington-based European Pressphoto Agency photographer Erik Lesser landed the stellar shot of the night July 19 by scouting the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in advance of the 50thanniversary Apollo 11 Moon landing celebration. Lesser showed up early to snag his pre-chosen spot on the end of the media riser for an angle that encompassed a clear view of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s projection on the Washington Monument and the crowd. His planning paid off when he captured the silhouette of a boy perched on someone’s shoulders transfixed by the re-creation of the flaming launch. He conquered the tricky lighting challenge by bumping up the sensitivity of his camera sensor and shooting at a relatively slow shutter speed to catch some of the ambient light from the darkening summer sky. Opting to shoot handheld, instead of on a tripod, Lesser had the flexibility to squat at a low angle to center the boy in the shot. Instead of going wide to show the lighting and surrounding screens, Lesser’s linear image focuses on the awe-inspiring moment’s skyward impact on the next generation.

Patrick Farrell, the curator of The Sunday Still, is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Breaking News Photography for The Miami Herald, where he worked from 1987 to 2019. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Media Management at the University of Miami School of Communication.