MADISON, Ala. - Lawyer by day, amateur photographer by night. A Madison man is over the moon about where some of his work is landing. 50 years ago, this week, Apollo 11 lifted off taking three astronauts on an historic mission.
To celebrate the anniversary, the U.S. postal service is releasing two new stamp designs. One features a photograph of astronaut Buzz Aldrin taken by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the lunar surface. The second is a shot of a full moon with a dot marking the sea of tranquility where the lunar module landed.
“I was actually trying to get a picture of the moon at the instant or so that it was really at the full 100% illuminated phase,” Greg Revera said. The amateur photographer took the photo in 2010. He had to be thinking, what a great shot! “No, actually, I didn’t think it was a very good photograph at all,” he said laughing.
Greg took it in his backyard with a camera attached to his telescope. “And I took a bunch of photographs,” he said and thinking, “Aw well, I did my best. I didn’t think I was going to have anything that was really that good, but it turns out that I did.”
After taking the photo, Greg says, “I submitted it to an online picture of the day type thing which actually, it didn’t win.” But it was picked up by several news outlets for stories about the moon. The website Wikipedia later asked to use it as well.
That’s where the U.S. Postal Service first noticed the shot. “A couple of years ago, they called me and asked if I wouldn't mind if they used my photograph,” he said with a laugh, “Absolutely, be glad to.”
That put Greg over the moon. “It’s pretty exciting for an amateur photographer to have a photograph put on a U.S. postal stamp,” he said proudly. But for it to be part of the 50th anniversary celebration is more than he could ever imagine. “My little photograph is going to be on a stamp and is going to be part of that,” he said with a smile.
Greg grew up watching Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” show on television with his dad. He’s photographed Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and deep space. “It just kinda always fascinated me,” he said, “Not just astronomy but space and the universe.”
But not enough to want to head into orbit or to the moon. “I’m sure at some point and time, I was going to be a fighter pilot and then go on and become an astronaut but that’s not where life took me,” he said, “It took me to law school.”
Photography is Greg’s hobby, a way for him to relax. “For me, it’s very peaceful to sort of look up and look out and realize, man, it’s really a big universe,” he said with excitement, “And we’re just really a small speck in it.”
The forever stamps, featuring Greg’s moon shot, will be available at post offices across the country on July 19. And if you’d like to see more of his incredible photography, here’s a link to his Revera Space website.