The Story Of The Second Man On The Moon - Dr Andy Aldrin

As I’ve said a lot in social media recently, the last couple of months has opened some amazing doors and some amazing stories to me and my business. After Covid, there was a lot of work around clients that I’ve worked with a lot before and very socially distanced photography that was easily done after Covid with or without all the restrictions. So a lot of property, a lot of individual work with single people as opposed to big groups. And it seems as though from sort of September ’21, there has been a shift, the doors have opened, people’s thought processes have changed and not necessarily that people are cracking on again, they’ve been doing that for a little bit longer, but I think the opportunity to do things in a different way and a more group-led way is seeing the whole events and things coming back and people thinking about getting people involved in stuff in a different way. 

This means that the doors for me to be shooting some of the things that I have, have just been amazing. And this one’s no different. Middle of last week, last-minute phone call, the event came out of nowhere, it was an opportunity thrown at Durham Cathedral that I couldn’t pass up. As I’m sure you’re aware, the cathedral for a few years now has had a regular installation of the moon [I’ll have to put a note in about exactly what the title of the art installation is] but the illuminated moon in the middle of the Cathedral, in the absolute cross of the Cathedral, which I didn’t manage to see the last time it was round, even though it looked absolutely amazing. To pair that off this year, the Cathedral were approached to say would they like a talk by the world-famous Andy Aldrin, who as you can tell by his surname, is the son of Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon. Now Andy in his own right is a Professor of Science – he is Associate Professor of Engineering Management at Florida Tech – and has worked tirelessly for many, many years to keep science in the mainstream and to keep educating us using science as a tool for younger people to get into science all over the world. 

So, when I get the phone call, “Would you like to shoot Buzz Aldrin’s son under the moon in Durham Cathedral?” I dropped everything to be there. And a little bit of shuffling, as ever with my diary, allowed me to stand there about half an hour before his talk started, with about 300 adults and kids. To be stood there in the Cathedral, which is obviously the home of Marvel’s Asgard in at least two Thor movies I believe, was an amazing sight. Just to see the architecture of the Cathedral and to see the moon just floating there in the middle was just an amazing experience on its own. Let alone to then to hear the dulcet tones of an American stood there in front of all those children, talking about one of 12 people to have ever stood on the moon. Under the moon. It was a little bit surreal. 

Technically, from a photography perspective, it was an incredibly tricky gig due to the low light of the Cathedral. Specifically the location in the Cathedral is one of the darkest places, just because of the windows all being on the sides and he was right in the middle of it, so sort of as far away from any windows as possible. So then you’re relying on light that is lighting the space, as opposed to lighting the person because it wasn’t a stage show in that sense. So the ISO had to be cranked up a little bit to say the least. But thankfully the Canon R5 came through and we got some really great images to showcase the event and to promote both the Cathedral and Dr. Aldrin in the UK. 

I’d love to say that that was one of the most intriguing shoots I’ve done of late, due to the subject matter and the location. But the way this last month’s gone, I couldn’t possibly say what’s going to happen between now and the next two months, because it could be absolutely anything!

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