A NASA Astronaut is Taking Beautiful and Creative Photos Onboard the ISS

On the left, a spacecraft is docked to the International Space Station with Earth visible in the background. On the right, an astronaut inside the space station is smiling and holding a camera on a selfie stick, with the station's intricate equipment surrounding him.

A NASA astronaut onboard the International Space Station (ISS) is taking a series of epic photographs and sharing the techniques behind them.

Matthew Dominick has captured clever selfies of himself zooming through the Destiny module, creative off-camera flash portraits of the crew, and epic photos of the Italian peninsula.

Dominick, who launched to the ISS on March 3 for six months as commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission, shares details on the equipment and settings he uses for his photography.


Getting Creative Onboard the ISS

On July 4, Independence Day, in-lieu of fireworks on the ISS Dominick shared a series of creative off-camera flash portraits, light painting multiple images of himself on a single exposure.

Then he gave six crew members — including himself — a flash each to manually actuate for a funky group portrait.

Six astronauts pose inside the International Space Station, surrounded by equipment and cables in a cramped, gravity-defying environment. They appear to be floating and are oriented in various directions, with the American flag visible in the background.

Dominick also shared a clever selfie that blurs out the background of the ISS but he remains in focus. Achieved via a slow shutter speed of 1/5 of a second, the camera is attached to a pole that he is holding as he propels himself through the laboratory of the spaceship.

A person floats in a space station, taking a selfie. They are surrounded by various equipment and wires, with a blurred background suggesting movement or a dynamic environment. The individual appears to be smiling and holding a selfie stick.
1/5 of a second, 18mm, f14, ISO 2500.

The astronaut also shared a shutter speed experiment he conducted while flying over Papua New Guinea. Keeping the ISO (6400) and aperture (f/1.4) constant, he changed the shutter speeds from ten seconds to a 1/4 of a second.


Here are a few more awesome images taken by Dominick.

A night-time satellite view of the Nile River and surrounding areas. The bright, snake-like course of the river is illuminated by lights along its banks. Cities and towns appear as clusters of lights, with darker spaces representing less populated regions.
The River Nile leading to the Mediterranean Sea. 1/5s, f1.4, ISO 12800.
A large satellite with extended solar panels is shown against a backdrop of blurred light trails and numerous stars, suggesting motion or long-exposure photography in space. The view emphasizes the expanse and detail of the satellite's structure.
“Experimenting with long exposures trying to capture star trails with the beautiful structures of the ISS. In the last of five 30 second exposures the sun cracked the horizon creating the brilliant blue on the service module solar arrays. 5 stacked images, 24mm, f4, ISO 800.”
A spacecraft orbits above Earth, with its exterior and solar panels clearly visible. Below, the geographical features of southern Italy, including its distinct boot-shaped peninsula and surrounding seas, are seen in daytime. The text at the bottom reads "Southern Italy.
Southern Italy.
A spacecraft is docked at the International Space Station, with numerous cables and instruments connected at its base. The starry expanse of space forms the backdrop, and the distant Milky Way is faintly visible. The scene is illuminated by harsh lighting, creating stark contrasts.
“An out of frame moon creates a lens flare and illuminates the Dragon perched atop the International Space Station. Photo taken looking out Starliner’s window. 1/1.3 s exposure, 2000 ISO, f1.4, 24mm lens.”

For more of his space photography, follow Dominick’s X page (formerly Twitter).

Image credits: Photographs by Matthew Dominick.