Astronaut offers photography masterclass from Earth orbit


NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in March as commander of the SpaceX Crew-8 mission.

During his time aboard the orbital outpost, Dominick has been sharing some wonderful images of inside and outside the ISS.

Keen photographers will be pleased that the astronaut is also sharing the camera settings that he used for each of the shots. A recent one is a real beauty and shows the moon above Earth just before sunrise.

1/ A sliver of a moon rises out of noctilucent clouds and appears to look towards the horizon awaiting the imminent sunrise.

1/250s, f5.6, ISO 6400, 170mm (50 to 500mm lens), cropped

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) July 6, 2024

This creative image from the interior of an ISS module sees Dominick using a flash to experiment with “light painting.”

Happy 4th of July!

No fireworks on ISS so we used camera flashes instead. Experimented with “light painting” today.

15 sec, f22, 24mm, ISO 500. Turned off the lights. Manually actuated our own flashes. Ambient light only from computers and experiment LEDs.

1/ Floating through

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) July 4, 2024

In this set, Dominick shows how different shutter speeds can affect how Earth appears in an image.

A common question theme when posting night time images from the ISS is exposure length. There are guidelines for shooting astrophotography from earth but what happens when shooting at orbital speeds? Thread shows images with 6400 ISO, f1.4, and exposures ranging from 10s to 1/4s

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) July 1, 2024

Here’s a stunning night shot from the ISS showing the Nile River leading to the Mediterranean Sea.

Flying up the Nile River to the Mediterranean Sea.

1/5s, f1.4, ISO 12800

Need to subtract the dark frame and other processing later. It was awesome to see on such a clear night.

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) June 30, 2024

This one shows an astronaut peering out of a window on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked at the ISS. Dominick has also been experimenting with time-lapses, which you can watch below.

A short timelapse made from the individual images taken when finding the right light for the image above. Faint blue light from a moon just starting to crest the horizon in front of the ISS illuminates Dragon.

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) June 29, 2024

Here Dominick puts the camera on a monopod and uses a slow 1/5 shutter speed to create the feeling of movement in an image snapped from inside one of the station’s many modules.

Zooming through the lab on ISS.

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) June 28, 2024

This image shows part of the ISS with a dramatic backdrop of star trails.

Experimenting with long exposures trying to capture star trails with the beautiful structures of the ISS. In the last of five 30 second exposures the sun cracked the horizon creating the brilliant blue on the service module solar arrays. 5 stacked images, 24mm, f4, ISO 800.

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) June 25, 2024

Finally, check out this wonderful time-lapse showing the docked Starliner spacecraft with an aurora in the distance.

Timelapse video of aurora streaming behind Starliner taken from a Dragon window with Butch and Suni in the window of Starliner. Their flashlights light up the cabin.

0.5 second interval, f 1.4, 6400 ISO, 1/4 second exposure, 24mm lens.

— Matthew Dominick (@dominickmatthew) June 16, 2024

Another past inhabitant of the ISS also earned a reputation for taking jaw-dropping photographs. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet usually turned his lens toward Earth 250 miles below, capturing gorgeous images that perfectly encapsulated the beauty of our planet.


Leave a Comment