See Space, Get Perspective

It’s so easy to get bogged down in the travails of day-to-day life. One of the reasons I love science fiction is because it puts these things in perspective. Slightly closer to home (and reality), I find thinking about Astronomy and Cosmology has the same effect: reminding me how, really, my problems “don’t amount to a hill of beans”, how inconsequential I am and how whatever is bothering (or stressing) me will pass – and how the universe won’t even notice one way or the other. I find it incredibly reassuring.

It’s for this reason that I love photographs of space. Seeing incredible images of humans, and human industry, orbiting hundreds of miles above the continents and surfaces that seem so enormous to those of us down below, is truly humbling.

Of course, the other, less philosophical, reason for loving these pictures is my utter and complete admiration for these astronauts. I cannot begin to fathom what it must be like to voyage into a totally unknown, hostile environment. Where space provides consolation, these individuals provide inspiration. These are truly explorers, polymaths and luminaries. A blueprint for success; something I aspire to replicate in some small way.

These motivating interests have led me to continually scour the internet for some of the greatest images of humans in space. Below are a few of my favorites. Each reminds me of how small I am and gives me a little perspective when I am feeling blue.

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See Space, Get Perspective


Inspired by the protests today in Baltimore, I thought I would catalogue some of the most powerful statements made in the stand against tyranny. Sadly this is a very superficial survey put together in the few hours after work. Nonetheless the message remains clear: “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty” (Thomas Jefferson).

Silent Man Protest


This caught my attention last year. So elegantly simple, yet very powerful.

1968 Olympics Black Power salute

black power salute

Iconic. Part of the power of this is what the athletes were giving up, Olympic Gold and Bronze medals. They had reached the absolute pinnacle of their field, achieved what few are able to. And they sacrificed it to raise awareness of civil rights.

The Unknown Man

the unknown rebel

This sends a shiver down my spine everytime I see the video. And the fact that, even now, no-one knows who he was. Incredible, incredible bravery.

Occupy Protests


The iconography of V’s mask stands out, but the message should be remembered.

Thích Quảng Đức Self Immolation

vietnamese monk protest

I am proud to have visited his monastery in Vietnam. A remarkable act. What more can you say. It is awful to think that this was felt to be the best (only?) option for delivering his message. Quoting David Halberstam’s eye witness account: “…As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him”

Emily Davison

Emily Davison


Nelson Mandela – Robben Island Imprisonment


Locked away for 18 years because of what he believed in. Just… awe inspiring.

Civil Rights Protesters. Tennesse 1968

i am a man

Truth be told I don’t know a lot about this photograph, but I find the “I am a man” so striking that I included it. So sad that this even needed to be said.


Jonas Bendiksen: Satellite

I was reminded today of one of my favourite photographs in recent years. Taken by Jonas Bendiksen as part of his Satellite series. I love the unusual perspective, the almost magical setting, the colours and contrast and, of course, the subject matter.


I cant even imagine what it must be like to build a composition like this. It seems almost impossible – although his portfolio is filled with similar marvels.

Jonas Bendiksen: Satellite