PictureBubbles° was hired by SpaceX to document the interior of their now famous Dragon Spacecraft. We had shot an engineering sample of the outer shell when we covered the Wired NextFest in 2007, but for our last shoot, the actual module was assembled, rich with modular interior features.
Now that SpaceX has announced its plans to visit the International Space Station later this year, they have unveiled the PictureBubbles° panorama that we created. And the LA Times took notice.
This was an incredibly challenging shoot. Not only was the working space limited by cargo racks in the vehicle, but also we had the additional challenge of needing to open the floor hatches. And we needed to make sure that all of the shots would line up in 3D-space so that they could be blended together for the final presentation. We shoot with a tripod, so that took some ingenuity.
We positioned the camera and tripod in the center of the Dragon spacecraft for most of the shots. But when we started opening the hatches on the floor, there was no longer a place for the tripod to stand. We then shot a series of photos with the tripod elevated off the floor (by inserting the legs into the rigging on the sides). It was makeshift, but it worked extremely well.
The greatest bit of trivia: during some of the spin-arounds, there were two people in the spacecraft at all times: me operating the camera, and a SpaceX engineer moving things that I was not even close to allowed to touch. Bear that in mind while scrolling around.
There is a TON of Photoshop magic hiding how all of that came together, but we’re really proud of it.
You can visit SpaceX’s website to see the panorama with ISS and space-view simultations.