William Anders’ Earthrise- Most Influential Environmental Photograph

The Apollo 8 Mission in 1968 was a landmark of its own kind. Astronaut William Anders captured the image of the Earthrise, and the image was considered to be the most influential environmental photograph ever taken, as described by nature photographer Gelen Rowell. The image prior to this was a crude 1966 black-and-white raster earth rise image, taken by the Lunar Orbiter 1 Robotic Probe.

Earthrise by willian anders

Earthrise by William Anders
Photo Credits: Wikipedia

The image came to be known as Earthrise, officially chronicled as the NASA image AS8-14-2383. The Apollo 8 mission was the first manned voyage to orbit the Moon. Before William Anders found a suitable 70 mm colour film to capture the image, mission commander Frank Borman took a black and white photograph of the scene, as the image showed the Earth’s terminator touching the horizon. The landmass and cloud cover are seen to be the same in both images. The colour image shot by William Anders was taken from the Lunar Orbit on December 24, 1968, with a highly modified Hasselblad 500 EL with an electric drive. The camera had a simple sighting ring, as opposed to the standard reflex viewfinder. It was loaded with a 70 mm film magazine that contained a custom Ektachrome film developed by Kodak.

William anders earthrise

William Anders
Photo Credits: Wikipedia 

An audio recording of the event and a transcription shows the following exchange:

Anders: Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.

Borman: Hey, don’t take that, it’s not scheduled. (joking)

Anders: (laughs) You got a color film, Jim? Hand me that roll of color quick, would you…

Lovell: Oh man, that’s great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *