We Choose to go to the Moon | David Burnett

Artist Reception and Book Signing: Thursday, July 11, 2019

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Workshop, July 12-14

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The Gallery at Leica Store San Francisco, in collaboration with Contact Press Images, is excited to announce the upcoming photography exhibit, and the world premiere of We Choose to go to the Moon, as well as the release of the book of the same name featuring the photographs of David Burnett. The photographs document the launch of the Apollo XI mission. The exhibit opens July 11, 2019, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the moon, July 20, 1969.

At the time, 22-year-old, David Burnett was a photographer working for TIME Magazine out of the Miami bureau. Burnett’s coverage region included the area off Florida’s Space Coast where the Apollo XI rocket would launch. In May of 1969, he had photographed the launch of Apollo X as a warm-up and two months later he went on to record the launch of Apollo XI carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins whose mission was to land and walk on the moon.

It was David's idea to record the events for TIME by turning his camera away from the rocket and focus on the 'space' that the visiting tourists, from near and far, had staked out to celebrate and witness the moments leading up to and during the Apollo XI rocket launch.

"Looking back on fifty years, there are many things which come to mind; the clothing, antiquated film cameras, transistor radios, enormous automobiles, courtesy and attitudes, patience while waiting at a gas station in the middle of the night to use a solitary restroom, and the absence of cell phones!

As much as Apollo XI became a lodestone for human endeavors in space, the massive gathering that represented the American clan: present and in the moment, there to observe the launching. These pictures leave us with a snapshot of what the country’s tempo was like at that time and how man’s quest for space could captivate, amaze, delight and cause a nation to hold its breath looking skyward."

- David Burnett (Contact Press Images) 2019

We Choose to go to the Moon
Photographs by David Burnett
Published by Alex Ramos Press
48 pages
Order will ship July
All pre-ordered copies will be signed

Pre-Order Here

About David Burnett:

David Burnett is a photographer of international renown. As the co-Founder of Contact Press Images, David Burnett possesses an archive that spans a half-century, covering some 100 countries, as well as conflicts and revolutions and leaders in sports, politics and popular culture.

Born in 1946 in Salt Lake City, Utah, early in his career he became the last photojournalist to cover the war in Vietnam for Life magazine. In the 70s and 80s there were few major world news events he ever missed; Burnett lived “on the go,” hopping from airplane to airplane and subject to subject, including the coup in Chile (1973), revolution in Iran (1979), famine in Ethiopia (1984), the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), the US military intervention in Haiti (1994), nearly a dozen trips to the D-Day beaches of Normandy, every American president from John F. Kennedy to Donald Trump, and every Summer Olympic Games since 1984. Burnett has worked for nearly every major publication. More recently, he has produced color essays on Hurricane Katrina, Orlando, FL, Jamaica, and Americans presently living their lives as fur traders of the 1800s did, all shot for the National Geographic.

David Burnett is the recipient of the field’s highest honors, including the 1973 Robert Capa Gold Medal, the 1979 World Press Photo Premier Award, the Overseas Press Club of America's Olivier Rebbot "Best Reporting from Abroad in Magazines and Books" Award in 1984 and again in 2010, National Press Photographer’s Association’s (NPPA) Magazine Photographer of the Year and a first prize in the World Press Photo in 2005. In 2018 he received NPPA’s highest honor, the Joseph Sprague Memorial Award for lifetime achievement. In 2009 he authored two books: Soul Rebel, An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley (Insight Editions) and 44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World (National Geographic-Focal Point). He has been a contract photographer for TIME and has photographed the last four Olympic Games as an Artist in Residence for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.