Creation of a Cover Shot

Photographer Eric Curry shows how he made our March 2010 cover.

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory pose with a backup Mars Exploration Rover. From left: Nimisha Mittal, Pauline Hwang, Sharon Laubach, and Alfonso Herrera. Eric Curry

Photographer Eric Curry has created artistically lit narrative scenes of an F-86 Sabre, the 60-inch telescope in California’s Mt. Wilson Observatory, the B-25J Heavenly Body, and dozens of other vehicles for a collection he calls “American Pride and Passion.”

When we read on his web site that he views these machines as “metaphors for values of character, honor, integrity and pride,” we thought his approach would be the perfect way to illustrate the affection many Earth-dwellers have come to feel for NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers, which, having long outlasted their life expectancies, are still transmitting from the Martian surface.

In the video slideshow at right, Curry explains how he created our March 2010 magazine cover, shot by carefully lit shot.

Get the latest stories in your inbox every weekday.