Aerial Visionairies | Pioneers of Aerial Photography | San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Date: April 11, 2000
Social hour at 6pm, program at 7pm
(By advance reservation only)

Venue: Phyllis Wattis Theater, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Featuring: astronaut Dr.Story Musgrave, Dr. Rusty Schweikart, photographer Michael Light and special guests.

Compositions and a live mix by Guillermo Galindo.


Program Hosts: American Society of Media Photographers and the Explorers Club

Production and Moderator: Herb Lingl and friends.

Program Schedule

Bay Area Aerial Heritage:

A review of the rich aerial heritage in the Bay Area featuring images by the pioneering Bay Area aerial photographers. This portion of the program developed thanks to special curatorial assistance. Featured work will include work by Clyde Sunderland, Bob Cameron, Hammon Jensen and Wallen photographers and numerous other artists and leaders in the field. Live music mix by Bay Area composer and audio designer Guillermo Gallindo.

Dr. Story Musgrave: A Renaissance Man's Aerial Vision

Dr. Story Musgrave's exceptional vision of the aerial perspective from space and from around the world and his unique involvement in a huge variety of disciplines. .

Dr. Rusty Schweikart: Sharing The Astronaut's Perspective and Digital Image Making

Dr. Schweikart's pioneering role in the development of the Landsat system, and in the development of the first multispectral image capture, and his role in publishing a runaway best seller of the finest images created in space create the backdrop for this portion of the presentation.

Michael Light: An Artist's Perspective on Our Aerial Heritage

Michael Light has dedicated the last five years of his life to studying, working, and curating a selection of fine images from the NASA archive. He has applied the latest digital technology to creating outstanding fine art prints and a world class book. His unique artistic vision has enabled him to share with the world some of the most stunning examples of the rich NASA archive.

Questions and Answers: Question and Answer Period of Panelists and Special Guests

Aerial Visionaries: Merging Flight and Photography

By Herb Lingl

Flight and photography, both distant and yet intense dreams of humans for centuries, have become virtually ubiquitous in our world today; innovations and developments in both fields have accelerated at an astonishing pace during the last few decades. This program explores the stunning imagery which merges these two disciplines.

The Bay Area has been a center for these developments from the start, and the region has played an even greater role in fueling the innovations of the past few decades, both with respect to flight and to image making. From the first motion pictures (created in the Bay Area), to pioneering image making and flight research at NASA Amses, a strong heritage of history making flights at the Oakland Airport, and a history of some of the world's finest photographers, and some of the world's finest aerial photographers, the Bay Area has been a fulcrum of the merging of the disciplines of flight and photography.

The Aerial Visionaries event this April 11 explores both the Bay Area's rich aerial photography heritage, and some of the most pioneering aerial image making that has taken place during the past several decades anywhere in the world. It brings together in one place some of the finest aerial image makers of our times. Image intensive (and short on words), this presentation initially explores the rich aerial image heritage of the Bay Area, then moves into some of the most stunning imagery created at the frontiers of our world.

Among our presenters are Dr. Story Musgrave, honored for his outstanding work both as an astronaut and a photographer, who recently completed working on Disney's Return to Mars motion picture. Dr. Musgrave is a true renaissance man. His degrees include an MD and an MBA, he has flown 17,700 hours numerous types of civilian and military aircraft, has worked as a mathematician, operations technician, in aerospace medicine and physiology, as a part-time surgeon at the Denver General Hospital, and is an accomplished parachutist with more than 500 free falls. Dr. Musgrave's missions included STS-61 which was the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing and repair mission and STS-80 which deployed the Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer satellite. Dr. Musgrave's presentation features both space and aircraft imagery optimized to project outstanding detail with today's finest projection technology. Story's achievements are so extensive we don't have enough space to list them here, but we welcome you to check out his biography at to understand the amazing achievements of Dr. Musgrave.

Also presenting is Dr. Russell Schweickart, who operated the first space borne multi-spectral image gathering system, using four mounted Hasselblad cameras and also was instrumental in the development of the Landsat earth imaging program. Dr. Schweickart served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 9, March 3-13, 1969, logging 241 hours in space, founded the Association of Space Explorers which has a current membership of 259 astronauts and cosmonauts from 28 nations, and he is currently developing the GEMnet system, the first LEO communication satellite system to provide regular commercial electronic messaging services on a global basis .We urge you visit his web page at

Another portion of our presentation will look at the future of aerial image making with a particular focus on digital technology and the future of aerial image making. One of our featured presenters is Michael Light whose extraordinary exhibit of digital prints of Apollo photographs featured at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this past fall received wide acclaim. For the past four years Mr. Light worked with the NASA Apollo photographic archives to create the definitive visual survey of the manned lunar explorations including a beautifully printed book entitled Full Moon, published by Random House International. This exhibit is traveling the globe.

Several other special guests have been invited to participate in this special evening. Please check the ASMP Norcal web site for the latest details on confirmed participants. Among the event sponsors are some of the leaders in aerial image making including Hasselblad, which has played a leadership roll in aerial imaging and will be bringing some of the technology is has developed for space.

The event is cohosted by the Explorers Club, which counts among its members some of the worlds finest explorers including astronauts Aldrin, Armstrong, Carpenter, Collins, Glenn, Lovell, Schirra, Sullivan and Ride and several cosmonauts. Other members have included President Theodore Roosevelt, the Leakey family, Thor Heyerdahl and aviation pioneers Doolittle, Lindbergh and Yeager. To learn more about the club please visit Because the details of the event are still evolving, we urge you to check out the latest details at the ASMP Norcal web site at

©2000 by Herb Lingl/

For more information contact: Herb Lingl, 415/771-2555; fax: 707/769-7277.