The photographer is Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton's Journeys campaign.
You have to view this picture on line or in the magazine to fully appreciate it. When I was a child my favorite color crayon was Periwinkle Blue. Blue is still my favorite color and the different variations you see in the sky are magnificent from deep indigo to a powder blue with twinkling stars in the background and a moon so full and luscious, like a fruit ripe for picking.
What I also find striking is that the three astronauts, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11, first steps on the moon; Jim Lovell, Apollo 13 commander, are posed on a beat up relic of a truck gazing at the moon lost in thought. Sally Ride looks like she's even in "lift off" mode. They look like everyday, ordinary folks dressed in an American uniform of denim, corduroy and boots. They are probably somewhere in Wyoming, Montana or maybe somewhere in the desert with a gentle desert wind blowing through their hair. Do you see Jim Lovell holding on to a cowboy hat? I love it, back in the 60s he was holding on to an astronaut's helmet.
There are so many things to discover in this photograph that it literally makes me want to cry. I can't remember Annie Liebovitz ever affecting me this way. In this photo are three people who share one thing in common that most of us will never experience. For me that's mind blowing.
I love science fiction and science fact and find the thought of space exploration exciting. I do remember President Kennedy's 1962 speech on the space challenge. Later, in 1969 I remember the moon landing and these words from Neil Armstrong: Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. and then astoundingly as his left foot touched the moon's surface, Armstrong declared: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Do you know that Armstrong did not have a speech prepared, it all came out spontaneously. His fellow astronauts questioned him repeatedly but he let the moment move him.
I'm not embarrassed to say that back in '69 my younger self wondered if the astronauts were going to come face-to-face with aliens! Well, I am a child of Star Trek after all. Come on, didn't you wonder yourself?
Buzz Aldrin's first steps on the moon