Fifty years after humans last stepped on the Moon, imaging specialist Andy Saunders is celebrating the Apollo missions by enhancing original photos from the beloved NASA program. In his book, Apollo Remastered: The Ultimate Photographic Record, Saunders shares hundreds of newly restored and never before seen images from the NASA archive.
Apollo astronauts diligently documented their missions on Hasselblad flight film, but for many years, those images were kept in a vault at the Johnson Space Center. Luckily, in the past few years, NASA has been making high-resolution scans of these images and releasing them to the public. This is where Saunders comes in.
After scouring the archives, Saunders works to restore the images. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the state of the original scan. At times, that can mean reducing the noise in the photo, at others it means lifting the veil of darkness on an underexposed photo to show what lies beneath. Saunders is careful to point out that there is no AI used in the process and he takes pride in the work that goes into remastering these important images.
“As these are historically significant images, it's vital to sympathetically remaster them and maintain authenticity, and to represent what the astronauts who were there witnessed,” he tells My Modern Met. “A huge amount of research went into this, particularly with regard to color, and several of the Apollo astronauts have contributed to ensure that what I've produced is an accurate representation of what it's actually like to make the incredible journey from the Earth to the Moon.”
It took Saunders about three years to work his way through the images. Apollo Remastered is a culmination of that work and an opportunity for Saunders to share these important pieces of space history with a wider audience. “I hope people will view them and be inspired to learn more about early spaceflight as well as to look forward to our return to the Moon and beyond in the not-too-distant future.”
Image specialist Andy Saunders spent years working on photos from NASA's Apollo missions.
His work can take hours or days depending on the adjustments he needs to make to the photos.