We know a lot of you must be bummed about not being selected for a mission to Mars on SpaceX or Mars One, or, actually, maybe you’re just happy to see Mars right here from the comfort of earth. Either way, this fun photo series from Julien Mauve is exactly what you need. In Greetings From Mars, the photographer plays the tourist as he and a friend appear to be casually snapping selfies as they explore the Red Planet.
To capture the inventive series, Mauve traveled to various locations throughout the western United States. In total, Mauve traveled 4,000 miles in 8 days to make the shoot happen. Some of the shooting locations include Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), Death Valley (California), Goblin Valley State Park (Utah), and Meteor Crater (Arizona) among others. However, before he hit the road, he picked up a pair of ESP-A7L replica spacesuits from a Los Angeles production company.
“They wouldn’t be the suits you’d use for a Mars mission, but my goal was more to get close to the cliché we have in mind when we think of an astronaut,” Mauve explained to Wired.
Mauve says he used Photoshop to remove some elements–trees, plants, anything alive– and to adjust the tone of his images so they better emulate the actual surface of Mars.
While Welcome To Mars is a fun series of photos, the message of the images is incredibly important. The series is meant to open discussion about human behavior in front of landscapes, while touching on the selfie revolution and how it affects the way we document our lives.
“There is no being far away anymore. So we might ask ourselves: Do we travel to discover new places and cultures, or do we travel to take pictures of ourselves and prove that we exist?”
Browse through a sample of the images from the collection below and be sure to head over to Julien’s website to see more from the collection. I also suggest you check out his Instagram and Facebook pages to stay updated on his past, present, and future projects.