Artist Uses Photoshop to Bring Beautiful Shapes out of Celestial Photography


By using Photoshop on photos taken by NASA at the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, London-based illustrator Chris Keegan is able to create beautiful images of people and creatures out of deep space nebulae.

The process begins a lot like those summer days as a kid lying in the grass and picking shapes out of the clouds — just replace clouds with celestial imagery. Once Keegan has picked out a shape, he takes the image into Photoshop and strengthens that shape until it will be recognizable to everyone.

Here is a sampling of Keegan’s creations:








To see more of Keegan’s work, click here to head over to his website.

(via Wired)

Image credits: Illustrations by Chris Keegan and used with permission.

  • elektrojan

    hmm, brings back good old times when I was into airbrush. I wondered if he still needs star pictures from nasa. if using multiple star flare effects aligned angles work better for me…

  • harumph

    Vomiting Death Monkey and Screaming Turtle Skull have always been two of my favorite beautiful shapes.

  • JJ Black

    With all due respect, these are cheesy as a pizza. Beautiful, nope : the original unedited images were beautiful.

  • Cynical Bloke

    Replace beautiful with any of these: ugly, silly, ridiculous, terrible, lame.

  • Elvir Begovic


  • Daniel Thomassin

    original et bien fait !

  • kb

    Ahhh, but can he make them appear to sit around a table and play cards???

  • wickerprints

    Is this supposed to be a parody article or some kind of cheap joke? How is this at all respectful of the natural beauty of the universe or the scientists and engineers who built the telescopes to obtain these images, so that astronomers and physicists may study the cosmos? These manipulations are juvenile–like photoshopping lolcats. That’s not to say such a thing doesn’t have its place, but it’s disappointing to see such a thing being treated as serious “art.”

  • Chris

    One of those astronomers here. Get yourself a sense of humor. ;-)

  • Chris

    Quite cute. :) Nothing wrong with having a bit of fun with the original images, the commenters on this blog seriously need to relax.


    …beautiful? I dont know. Looks like Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners.

  • tertius_decimus

    They have one. Truth is, such a thing is not funny.

  • halezaidi17vi

    my best friend’s step-mother makes $67/hr on the computer. She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay check was $18862 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on  Ask25.c­om

  • fast eddie

    The first one looks like an Adventure Time scene from Jake vs. Me-Mow :)

  • Bart Aldrich

    Between the 3-4 year old stories PP often uses and schlock like this…..!

  • bob cooley

    I’m really surprised that Wired carried this, let alone Petapixel… Art is subjective, but these are really much less spectacular than the original imagery.

  • herzco

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who found these to be a juvenile embarrassment. Photoshop skills does NOT equal “art”.

  • Optimal Cynic

    Well Chris apparently thinks they are, and as he is an astronomer I’ll go with his opinion.