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Surviving in Space



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Wave of the Future
Photograph by Cary Wolinsky


More functional than fashionable, plastic sheeting that protects plants from the cold gets redesigned into a prototype of a water-filled space suit. Astrophysicist Janet Barth models the futurewear, following the theory that water—whether filling the outer walls of a spacecraft or worn by astronauts—may shield space crews from radiation.



Camera: Mamiya 645
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia
Lens: 110mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/30 @ f/16
Weather Conditions: N/A
Time of Day: Early
Lighting Techniques: Comet strobe packs


SPECIAL EQUIPMENT OR COMMENTS:
For this shot I rented the remarkable studio of Blair Kunz in Salt Lake City. We had to be in Salt Lake City because that is the home of Wallowater and its inventor Corky Corkins. Corky’s son Ron arrived early and began putting the suit on radiation scientist, Janet Barth who, I must say, was pretty game to go through all this. The day before a local AV company brought a 12 by 12 foot rear projection screen and a slide projector. Project editor Kurt Mutchler had downloaded the sun image and had it made into a 35mm slide. I wasn’t sure when I saw the image which way was up and had to ask Janet. Next we built a platform so Janet could step up and be in front of the sun image. Blair’s studio was a dream-come-true for this traveling photographer. He had heavy duty lightstands that could hoist my sofbox and key light high in the air and large scrims that could be placed to keep stray light from falling on the rear projection screen. To shoot the picture required two exposures on each frame: a time exposure for the background sun image and a strobe exposure for Janet. I thought that the Wallowater suit looked hot but Janet said the water in it was drawing away body heat and keeping her cool. The weight was more of a problem so we had to work fast.


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