Photographies early history as a scientific tool for data capture and visualisation saw astrophotography play a central role from the mediums inception.
This image is one of
the earliest surviving astral daguerrotype
captures by Professor John William Draper in 1840.
Over the last twenty years interest in astrophotography has grown rapidly as digital camera sensors have steadily improved in quality whilst dropping in price.
In recent years astrophoto data capture previously only available to scientists has become common to amateur photographers. Its aesthetic, networked production and distribution can tell us a great deal.
With all of these different types of astro-photography emerging, we wanted to analyse and understand the themes emerging in the genre by visualising datasets of many images at once.
Here is a typical example of a basic visualisation of a sample of lunar photographs in our dataset.
Visualising individual items like this allows us to compare the treatment of a single subject across a wide range of photographers at once.
A broader set of images like this allows us to take a look at a large set of night sky images at once.
But even this is only a subset of the images we work with. Below is an aggregate of the full 5000 image data set we worked with on our initial data project.
We will be working with this data over the coming years and will update this site as we do.